Aaron Gordon says Magic 'feel cheated' by clock malfunction in loss to Lakers
An error by the official controlling the clock cost the Magic a chance to win the game in L.A.
The Orlando Magic are furious -- furious I say -- about a bananas ending against the Los Angeles Lakers that in essence took away any chance for the Magic to pull out a last second win. With less than a second left on the clock (0.6 to be exact) and the Lakers up 108-107, the Magic lobbed an inbound pass from half-court for Aaron Gordon. Unfortunately, before the ball touched anyone or anything, the clock started running.
To rectify the situation, the officials had a jump ball. Of course, the only way for the Magic to win at that point was to tip the ball into the basket directly on the jump ball -- from center court. Needless to say, that didn't happen. Brook Lopez tipped the toss, and the clock expired.
This game was in Los Angeles, so people were quick to blame the clock operator. However, the officials ran the clock.
"We feel cheated," said the Gordon after the game, per ESPN. "... They gave them the game. ... It's just a terrible end to a game of basketball. They didn't even give us a chance to win. And that's the last time we see them. We have to wait a year to play them again. They have gotta change that rule, and I think they will."
Apparently there's a big rivalry between the Magic and Lakers that I'm missing here, because when I think Magic-Lakers I don't think revenge game, and it's hard to imagine that people within the Magic organization are super upset with this ruling. If nothing else, it can only help Orlando's draft stock. However, players don't tank. It's not in their blood. So it's also hard to imagine that Gordon isn't a bit stung by this.
Frank Vogel passionately argued in the Magic's favor on the call, but to no avail. Crew chief Bill Spooner told a reporter the reasoning behind the ruling. "Because there's no possession when the clock goes off, the ruling is that there's a jump ball, center circle," he said, via ESPN. "The rule is 13E-9-2. And anytime there is either an inadvertent whistle and/or a horn when the ball is in the air, there's no possession and we go center circle, jump ball."
According to the NBA, however. Spooner's explanation isn't quite right. In the league's final review, it was determined that the Magic should have retained possessions since no one touched the ball. No one seems to really understand the rule, but whatever was ruled last night was wrong. So ... vindication for the Magic?
Spooner's explanation seemed weird from the getgo for the onesidedness of it. It's clearly not a rule that's expected to be applied in a situation where a tap of the ball ends the game. Never mind that this probably wouldn't have influenced the final outcome, the Magic just wanted an opportunity. In the end, it probably worked in their favor when it comes to the chase for lottery balls. But it definitely doesn't help the already tough times of being an Magic fan.
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