In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, the NBA today admitted that the officials in last night's Rockets-Grizzlies game should have called a foul against Zach Randolph when James Harden drove into the lane.
You can see the report here.
Memphis would score on the ensuing possession and win the game, making the no-call a pivotal moment.
Both Harden and McHale were incredulous in real time, and after the game Harden said he was hit and McHale fumed during his his post-game presser. Randolph came down with amnesia and said he didn't remember the play, but that "[Harden] gets every call." Z-Bo also must have forgotten that Memphis outshot the Rockets 17-5 from the free throw line and that Harden only took two attempts from the charity stripe.
The game was officiated by Ken Mauer, Karl Lane, and Josh Tiven.
The admission of wrongdoing comes too little too late for the Rockets, as not only did the Rockets go on to lose the game but that the game was also against a division rival that happened to be the team Hourston was chasing in the standings. It's a triple-whammy for a Houston team that could have cut the Grizz's lead to half-a-game in the standings and won the season tiebreaker. Indeed, the non-call led to Houston's most important loss of the season since the ramifications were so huge. And since there's no way to remedy the situation, it can only leave a bitter taste in Houston's mouth.
The Rockets have now lost 2 games dating back to last year's playoffs in which the NBA has admitted to making mistakes on game-deciding plays. Houston can only hope to get some of those big calls in the future.
Either way, the Rockets will have to put the poor officiating behind them and prepare for the Detroit Pistons who come into town Friday night.
Note: an earlier version of this article stated that the NBA had been incorrect in three instances to the detriment of the Rockets since the beginning of last year's playoffs. Actually, there have only been two instances: last night, and game 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers in which Dwight Howard was incorrctly given a sixth foul when in fact he was the one who was fouled. The Dream Shake regrets the error.