The defending champions are still alive. Late on Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors escaped with a 125-122 double-overtime win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of their second-round series. With things all tied up at 3-3 following that instant classic, the two teams are set for Game 7 on Friday night.

There were plenty of talking points, but one of the biggest involved the officiating. In particular, one of the biggest moments came late in the fourth quarter. With the score tied at 98-98, and less than a minute remaining, Jayson Tatum drove toward the basket and tried to kick the ball out to Daniel Theis in the corner. 

Instead, he turned it over, throwing the ball in the direction of Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who jumped out of the way. We’ve seen moments before where movement on the sidelines distracts or tricks players, but this case was notable because it was the opposing team’s coach, and Nurse was standing on the court. 

As you can see in the clip above, Nurse — who is very active on the sidelines — was standing with his feet straddling the out of bounds line in the deep corner. The referees didn’t say or do anything about it, but the incident was brought up on the TV broadcast, and became a hot topic on social media. 

After the game, those in the Celtics locker room were split on whether or not Nurse caused the turnover. Tatum, whose opinion matters the most here, said, “That was my fault. Can’t blame Nick Nurse. He’s not playing.” His teammate Jaylen Brown, however, was not pleased with the coach’s antics: “Grown men should be able to control themselves, especially the coaching staff.”

Whether Nurse’s presence fooled Tatum into making that pass or not, it’s clear that he shouldn’t be standing there during play, and it will be interesting to see if the league makes any comment. 

At the same time, the Celtics still had an opportunity to win in regulation, and were up by four in double overtime, so it’s not like that play decided the game. 


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