Kelly Oubre Jr.

Official says no-call was wrong to end Sixers' loss; Oubre apologizes for reaction 

Oubre and Nick Nurse were incensed at the final buzzer Wednesday night.

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Kelly Oubre Jr. and the officials were eventually on the same page about the final play of the Sixers’ 108-107 loss Wednesday night to the Clippers.

Unfortunately for the Sixers, that was not the case when it mattered most.

After a jump ball at center court with 5.1 seconds left, the Sixers emerged with possession and Oubre drove into Paul George’s body. No whistle blew, the Clippers celebrated their comeback win, and Sixers head coach Nick Nurse and Oubre pursued the officials to share their low opinion of the crew’s performance. 

Crew Chief Kevin Scott told pool reporter Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer that the final no-call was incorrect. 

“On the last play on the floor, in real time the crew interpreted that play as the defender jumping vertically,” Scott said. “However, in post-game video review we did observe some slight drift to his left by the defender George, and a foul should have been ruled.”

Oubre apologized for his reaction. 

“Heat of the moment,” he said. “This is an intense basketball game of course. We’re not perfect, the refs aren’t perfect. I want to apologize for just losing my cool, because that’s something I try to work on each and every day. I try to represent God in the best way I possibly can and that wasn’t it, so I just ask for forgiveness.

“But I saw Coach Nurse getting riled up. If our coach is going to fight for us and he’s going there, then I’m right behind him. But, at the end of the day, it wasn’t cool. So I’ll take whatever penalties come with that. We all have to move on, but I’ve got to be better.”

Oubre still didn’t deviate at all from his view of the officials’ work down the stretch. 

“There was absolutely contact,” he said. “They were calling those calls for (the Clippers). They were getting and-ones and they were changing the game in that aspect. And then we get down to our side and it’s like they didn’t even see any contact. I barely touched him on the other end and they still called it. So it was just uneven, in a sense. 

“But like I said, I’m not here to get on any refs or any decisions because they’re human beings as well as I am. So hey, if they don’t think there was contact, then there was no contact.”

Another pivotal call came with 52 seconds remaining. 

Nicolas Batum grabbed a missed Amir Coffey free throw and passed to Oubre, who faced pressure in the backcourt from George. The ball went out of bounds and was initially ruled to have deflected off George last. 

However, the Clippers’ challenge was deemed successful because, according to Scott, it was “clear and conclusive … that the ball goes off Oubre’s right hand out of bounds.” 

Oubre was mystified by that call and said he didn’t gain any clarity on the reasoning behind it. 

“No, they’re selective with the explanations,” he said. “They said, ‘This is what we’re doing and we’re going to keep it moving from here.’ The ball didn’t go off of me, but the review center said that it did so they changed the call.”

After sitting out the Sixers’ loss Monday to the Kings because of left shoulder soreness, Oubre played 38 minutes vs. the Clippers, posting 17 points and 11 rebounds. 

Like with the officiating, he was candid Wednesday on the topic of his health. Oubre has played 51 of his team’s past 54 games. With nine more in the regular season and the Sixers aiming to avoid the play-in tournament, he intends to keep going.

“I’m banged up, I ain’t going to lie to you. … I haven’t been able to make a (jump) shot in probably two months,” Oubre said. “I just saw a chiropractor and he just snapped, crackled and popped every single bone in my body, so I feel a little better. … I just keep fighting through this stuff because I want to hoop. At the end of the day, I’m going to do that.”

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