The Celtics’ first win inside the NBA’s Orlando bubble didn’t come without a little controversy.
Boston was tabbed with a questionable backcourt violation call late in its seeding game Sunday afternoon against the Portland Trail Blazers. Up three with less than 30 seconds to play, the Celtics were issued the infraction as Jayson Tatum tried to advance the ball past halfcourt to Gordon Hayward. Officials deemed Tatum was in the frontcourt when he delivered a past in the backcourt to Hayward, though it sure seemed like the former hadn’t crossed the halfcourt line. To make matters worse for Boston, it wasn’t able to challenge the officials’ ruling.
Following the Celtics’ narrow win, NBA referee Mark Davis stood by the call made on the floor. You can read Davis’ explanation in the game’s pool report, which was shared on Twitter via The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears.
NBA referee Marc Davis comments to a pool reporter after today's game between the Celtics and Trail Blazers: pic.twitter.com/xyqkFRESjF
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) August 2, 2020
The Celtics understandably were frustrated with the call, but they probably shouldn’t have found themselves in such a tight late-game situation in the first place. Boston at one point held a 24-point lead before Damian Lillard and Co. stormed back.
The C’s will look to stay in the win column Tuesday when they take on the Miami Heat.