The Mavericks plan to contest the Warriors’ loss by claiming a referee foul in the third quarter

The Dallas Mavericks weren’t happy with a certain play in Wednesday night’s 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors, and they Plan for a formal protest With the NBA.

The play happened after a timeout was called late in the third quarter of the contest. After the break, the Mavericks lined up at the far end of the floor as if they were in possession, while the Warriors were given the ball inbounds at the other end. The Mavs were clearly confused as the play resulted in a wide open basket for Kevon Looney.

At that point the Knights were upset and protested, but the game continued. In the end, the Warriors won the game by two, so they were awarded a free basket — even with 14 minutes left in regulation. After the game, Mavs owner Mark Cuban took to Twitter to share what he understood to be an explanation for what went down. Here’s what he had to say:

For those thinking that the play should go to 3rd with 1:54, let me explain what happened. The ref called the Mavs the ball. announced the announcer. Then there was a deadline. During the time the officer changed the call and never told us. Then when he saw the ball lined up like ours, he gave the ball to the players only. We didn’t say a word and they got easy basketball. Crazy how important that would be in a 2 point game. Worst non-call foul in NBA history. All they have to do is tell us, and they don’t.

Here’s Crew Chief Sean Wright’s postgame explanation: “The original signal at first was a Golden State ball, which can be seen on video. There is a second signal, but that signal caused a forced timeout. Mavs.”

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So, Wright says, the referee on the play first signaled that the ball belonged to Golden State and then called a Mavericks timeout.

Based on this response from Wright, it seems like the referee’s position was that Dallas was at fault, not them, although Cuban clearly disagreed. The Knights now have 48 hours to officially file a protest with the league’s office. A protest fee of $10,000 must be added. The fee will be refunded only if the protest is successful. Once commissioner Adam Silver acknowledges receiving the protest, both the Grizzlies and Warriors will have five days to provide concrete evidence. Silver will then make the final decision.

The loss to Golden State dropped Dallas to below .500 (36-37) on the season. They now sit in ninth place in the Western Conference — two games behind the sixth-place Warriors and have missed the play-in tournament altogether by a half-game — with only a few weeks left in the regular season.

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