A game between the Charlotte Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers ended in controversy Friday night.
With 4:44 remaining in the game, Hornets guard Terry Rozier was awarded a 3-pointer that should not have counted.
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Cavaliers forward Ed Davis was on the bench in his warm-ups when he was called for interference on a shot by Rozier when he swatted Rozier’s arm. Davis and other players believed the play was over after Cavaliers forward Dean Wade stepped out of bounds.
NBA officials huddled over the play and gave Rozier three points, plus a foul shot, even though he didn’t make the basket. Davis was hit with a technical foul, and Rozier made the technical free throw.
Cleveland survived the chaos.
Kevin Love made two free throws with 1.2 seconds left, and the Cavs left Charlotte with a 102-101 victory.
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The officials admitted after the game they botched the Rozier play.
“It was miscommunication amongst the crew about the sequence of the play,” crew chief Brian Forte said, via a pool report. “Upon review after the game, the out of bounds was called prior to the start of the field goal attempt, and the shot should not have counted.”
Love agreed with Forte.
“We thought the whistle was blown, and (the officials) were tapping their head because they thought Dean Wade had stepped out of bounds. That’s when E.D. stuck his hand in there,” Love said.
Rozier finished with 24 points, but Charlotte (28-25) dropped its third straight game.
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Cleveland moved to 32-21 on the season and sits in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, ahead of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.