The Miami Heat went up 2-0 on the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, but not without some late drama and controversial foul calls. There was plenty of discussion about the referees’ decisions, both during the broadcast and online, and now we have the league’s official judgement.

According to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report, which was released on Thursday afternoon, the refs made the correct call on both last-second foul calls, which ended up deciding the game. In fact, over the final two minutes, the league’s review found just one mistake by the officials. 

The first big controversy came with 4.3 seconds to play. After trailing by nine in the closing minutes, the Bucks made a furious comeback and were down by three with a chance to tie. Khris Middleton pulled up for a 3-pointer from the wing that was not a great look, but got bailed out by Goran Dragic, who made contact with him as he landed: 

There wasn’t a whole lot there, but the L2M determined that Dragic, “steps forward after Middleton (MIL) has started his upward shooting motion toward the rim, and Middleton lands on Dragic during a natural shooting motion as he returns to the floor.” 

Middleton drained all three free throws to tie the game, and it appeared things were headed for overtime, until Jimmy Butler was fouled at the buzzer. As he stepped back for a fadeaway to try and win the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo closed out a bit too aggressively, and made contact with Butler’s midsection while the Heat forward was in the air: 

Again, there wasn’t a ton of contact, but it was enough to be called a foul on the floor, and the L2M agreed, stating, “Butler (MIA) is in the air in a natural shooting motion when Antetokounmpo (MIL) makes contact with his midsection and affects his trajectory and balance.”

Standing by himself at the free throw line, and with zeroes on the clock, Butler rolled in the first free throw, then made the second for good measure to give the Heat a 116-114 win. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here