Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors scored a crucial road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night that gave the defending champs a tiebreaker over the Mavs as the playoffs loom – but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fuming over a controversial moment in the third quarter. According to multiple reports, the Mavericks will submit a formal protest to the league.
Late in the third, the Mavericks left the Warriors completely unguarded under the basket they were shooting at, allowing Golden State to score the easiest two points of the season. The broadcast crew was baffled.
The Mavericks came out of the timeout and weren't guarding the right side of the floor…
Don't see this very often 😂 pic.twitter.com/iNiCIwIqsV
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 23, 2023
So what exactly happened here? According to Cuban, the referee had called out that the ball belonged to the Mavericks, but following a timeout, the officials changed the call but did not inform the Mavs. Cuban tweeted that it might be the “worst officiating non call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA.”
“For those wondering about the play with 1:54 to go on the 3rd, let me explain what happened. The ref called Mavs ball . The announcer announced it. Then there was a timeout . During the time out the official changed the call and never told us. Then when they saw us line up as if it were our ball, he just gave the ball to the warriors. Never said a word to us They got an easy basketball. Crazy that it would matter in a 2 point game. Worst officiating non call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA . All they had to do was tell us and they didn’t.”
Only two refs were on that side of the court and we had 2 guys at half court going to in bound. The other ref obviously thought it was our ball as well. https://t.co/NSTsj5CWKY pic.twitter.com/cStupauXiV
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) March 23, 2023
The game went down to the final seconds, and Reggie Bullock hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the Mavs’ gap to two points.
In a tightly packed Western Conference, Wednesday’s result was significant. Not only did the Warriors earn the tiebreaker over the Mavs for playoff seeding, Dallas dropped all the way to ninth in the standings.