NBA Admits Refs Missed Call in Last Minute of Timberwolves-Mavericks Game 2

Mavericks guard Luka Dončić controls the ball while Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels defends in the second quarter of Game 2.
Mavericks guard Luka Dončić controls the ball while Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels defends in the second quarter of Game 2. / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA admitted Saturday that there was one missed call in the final minute of the Dallas Mavericks' dramatic 109–108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Friday night.

With 50 seconds left and the Timberwolves leading 108–106, guard Anthony Edwards passed the ball to forward Jaden McDaniels near the baseline. McDaniels jumped up to catch the ball and when he landed, he was surrounded by Mavericks stars Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić.

McDaniels lost the ball out of bounds. It was initially ruled Timberwolves basketball, but Mavericks coach Jason Kidd challenged the play and won, flipping possession back to Dallas.

However, the NBA's Last Two Minute Report stated a foul should have been called on Irving for slapping McDaniels's forearm to force the ball out of bounds.

"Irving (DAL) makes contact with McDaniels' (MIN) forearm, causing him to lose control of the ball," the report stated.

If the foul on Irving was called, it would've bumped Minnesota to the bonus and McDaniels would have been awarded two free-throw attempts with a chance to extend the Timberwolves' lead to four with 47 seconds left.

Instead, the Mavericks got the ball back. Dallas didn't score on that ensuing possession—Dončić missed a three-point attempt—but the Mavs eventually scored the game's final three points to secure a 2–0 series lead.

The Last Two Minute Report also explained why officials couldn't call the foul on Irving during the review.

"Replay review of the out of bounds called on Irving pursuant to a coach's challenge was deemed successful," the report states. "McDaniels is the last player to touch the ball before it goes out of bounds and play resumes with Dallas possession. A personal foul is not a reviewable matter when instant replay review of an out-of-bounds violation is triggered by a challenge, nor is a no-call a challengeable event."

The Timberwolves and Mavericks return to the floor Sunday for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals at American Airlines Center.

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Tom Dierberger


Tom Dierberger is a writer and editor for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Tom joined SI in 2023 after stints at FOX Sports, Bally Sports, and NBC Sports. In his spare time, Tom can be seen throwing out his arm while playing fetch with his dog, Walter B. Boy.