Kyle Lowry raced off the court "Forrest Gump" style after he was whistled for a controversial offensive foul call, and then ejected, during the closing minute of Toronto's 109-101 road loss to Sacramento on Wednesday.
With the Kings leading 105-99 and just 28.5 seconds remaining in the game, the Raptors swung the ball to Lowry at the right angle on an inbounds play. Lowry quickly stepped into a three-pointer, and Sacramento rookie guard Ben McLemore contacted him during the shot. Lowry's three was good and the whistle seemingly signaled the possibility of a four-point play that would cut the Kings' lead to two.
Instead, Lowry was whistled for an offensive foul, apparently because his legs swung forward during his shooting motion. Once referee Eric Lewis signaled the offensive foul call, Lowry immediately hopped up off the hardwood in disbelief, running down toward the other end of the court. That reaction earned him a technical foul, and after turning around to confirm that call, Lowry simply headed for the locker room, even though there were 25.5 seconds left in the game. Sacramento had no problem holding on for the victory after Lowry's ejection.
Prior to the 2012-13 season, the NBA's referees were instructed to emphasize the so-called "Reggie Miller rule," which mandated an offensive foul for shooters that kicked out their legs in an attempt to draw a foul during their shooting motion. Although Lowry's legs did swing forward during his shot, the swing didn't seem unnatural or intentionally undertaken to draw contact. Rather, it seemed to be a product of his on-the-move, catch-and-shoot motion, and his attention was on the ball and rim throughout the shot, even after contact. While both players did fall to the court, the best decision was probably a no-call, especially considering the time/score situation and game-deciding implications of the offensive foul.
Lowry, who was arguably the East's top All-Star snub, departed with 21 points (on 7-for-16 shooting), eight assists and seven rebounds. DeMar DeRozan added 18 points (on 5-for-17 shooting), six rebounds and four assists.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 25 points (on 8-for-19 shooting), 10 rebounds and four assists. Isaiah Thomas added 23 points (on 4-for-12 shooting), five assists and three rebounds.
Sacramento improved to 17-32 with the win. Toronto dropped to 26-23 with the loss.
Video via YouTube user frank den