Foul taste: NBA admits refs’ error in Game 3

The NBA admitted the game officials were wrong for not calling an intentional foul on the Dallas Mavericks prior to Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony’s game-winning three-point shot on Saturday evening.

The Mavericks had a two-point lead and a foul to give. The play began with Anthony receiving the inbounds pass with less than eight seconds left in the game. Antoine Wright clearly body checks Anthony twice, but no whistle was blown. Melo kept playing and hits the three-pointer to give the Nuggets a 106-105 victory and a commanding 3-0 series lead.

After reviewing the game tape, NBA president of league and basketball operations, Joel Litvin, issued this statement:

“At the end of the Dallas-Denver game this evening, the officials missed an intentional foul committed by Antoine Wright on Carmelo Anthony, just prior to Anthony’s three-point basket.”

In the aftermath of a gambling scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghy, the NBA has been public to acknowledged officiating mistakes in playoff games. Last year, the league ruled a foul should have been called against Derek Fisher on Brent Barry’s three-point shot at the conclusion of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. The play was at the end of a two-point contest, and a foul could have given the Spurs a chance to win the game and even the series at two games apiece.

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