HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The clock was ticking down to under 10 seconds left in regulation. James Harden had the ball in his hands, waiting to deliver another big moment in a tie game between the Rockets and Grizzlies. He drove to the hoop, drew plenty of contact as the ball was knocked loose, yet no whistle blew for a foul.
“I drove to the basket,” Harden said. “I got grabbed on my arms and nothing was called.”
Marc Gasol ultimately won the game with a 10-footer with 00.1 seconds left on the clock. The Grizzlies won the game by dominating inside and jumping out to a double-digit lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but with the Rockets battling back to tie it to set up potential heroics, that’s what left the home team hurting afterwards.
“I don’t know what to say,” Harden said of the non-call. “It’s frustrating, man. It’s frustrating when you fight so hard just to come back and you’ve got an opportunity to win the game. It’s just frustrating.
“I’m not worried about any other call,” Harden continued. “I’m worried about that particular call. That call gives us an opportunity to win a basketball game.”
After the final buzzer sounded, Kevin McHale was still talking to referee Ken Mauer about the call that wasn’t made. When asked if Mauer gave a response, McHale said, “No, he didn’t.”
McHale was still visibly upset about the call during the postgame press conference. For his first question, he was asked what he thought happened with the non-call. McHale replied, “They didn’t call a foul.”
Pressed further on what he saw on that play, McHale paused, then repeated, “They didn’t call a foul.”
Later on, McHale elaborated a bit more.
“We drove hard to the basket,” he said. “We did what we wanted to do. We wanted to get to the rim and they didn’t call a foul.”
Harden leads the league with 9.5 free throw attempts per game. He finished Wednesday making both of his two free throw attempts. His final stat line included 18 points, 13 assists, and two blocked shots.
For the victorious Grizzlies, they were able to laugh about it afterwards.
“He gets so many fouls,” Zach Randolph said with a joking chuckle. “Which one? He gets every call. My boy gets every call.
“I just tried to get in front of his way,” said Randolph, who finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. “He’s one of the best players in the league, so I just tried to get in his way and just tried to slow him down.”