The controversial ending to the Boston Celtics' win over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night was the correct ending, according to the NBA’s official Last Two Minute Report.
Rockets star player James Harden caught two whistles for offensive fouls at the end of the game, while guarded by the Celtics’ Marcus Smart. While Harden vehemently disagreed with the calls, the NBA's report stated that "Harden dislodg[ed] Smart from his legal guarding position" during the final moments of the game.
The first offensive foul put the ball into the hands of the Celtics, paving the way for Al Horford’s game winning shot. The second would give possession back to the Celtics. Upon further review, however, the referees missed two traveling calls against Boston that would have waived their last points.
The Rockets player attributed the controversial officiating to the fact that one of the referees had to sit the night out due to a back injury, leaving the game with only two referees instead of the usual three. “First of all, I want to know how you only have two officials on a national TV game?” Harden said after the game. “That’s the first question ... It’s just tough. You can’t have two officials in a professional game. There’s a lot of no-calls that need to be called because that changes the dynamic of the game.”
Kyrie Irving pointed out that both teams had to play with the disadvantage, and that “it didn’t make a difference having just two refs." Harden isn’t the only player frustrated with the officiating. New York Knicks' big man Kristaps Porzingis said that he was "super mad" that he hasn’t been getting a fair number of calls.