By Scooby Axson
April 21, 2014

Dwight Howard, Joel Freeland Rockets center Dwight Howard fouled out on a play the NBA said was the wrong call. (Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Officials made the wrong foul call near the end of Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series between the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, the league announced Monday.

Down one point with 10.8 seconds left in overtime, Rockets center Dwight Howard appeared to be fouled by Blazers forward Joel Freeland after going in for a rebound.

Instead, the officials called the foul on Howard, which was his sixth. Howard finished the game with 27 points and 15 rebounds. If the officials had made the correct call, Howard, a 55 percent free-throw shooter in the regular season, would have been sent to the line with a chance to take the lead.

"After video review by the league office, we have determined that the officials were incorrect in assessing a foul to the Rockets' Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime," Rod Thorn, the NBA's president of basketball operations, said in a news release. "The foul should have been called on the Blazers' Joel Freeland and Howard should have been awarded two free throws."

Freeland ended up making one of two free throws, and Rockets guard James Harden missed a shot a buzzer, giving Portland a 122-120 victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

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