May 13, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers in game five of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder defeated the Clippers 105-104. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NBA refs made right call on controversial out of bounds ruling in Clippers-Thunder game

The finish of Game 5 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder was a wild one, with plenty of controversial calls in the final minute. One ruling in particular that got everyone heated was an out of bounds ruling from the officials that gave the Thunder the ball with a chance to win the game.

Reggie Jackson was driving the ball to the hoop, when Matt Barnes hit his hand which was on the ball and forced the ball to go out of bounds.

Many believe that the Clippers should have received possession since Barnes never touched the ball, but the referees actually may have made the right ruling by giving the ball back to Oklahoma City for the possession that led to their win.

The NBA rule book reads, “If a player has his hand in contact with the ball and an opponent hits the hand causing the ball to go out-of-bounds, the team whose player had his hand on the ball will retain possession.”

Now, here is a video of how the play went down:

While it may be controversial and easy to blame the referees, it sure appears that they could have been making the right call. If anything, the whistle should have blown for a foul on Barnes, which would have still given the Thunder a chance to win.

We also can’t ignore the fact that the Clippers blew a double-digit lead in the final minutes, so the loss is all on them.


UPDATE: The referees in charge of Tuesday’s game between the Clippers and Thunder gave an explanation for the ruling that does not use the rule stated in this article. Instead, referee Tony Brothers simply said there was not enough evidence. You can read their explanation here.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Doc Rivers Los Angeles Clippers NBA

  • Texan

    Except that when you watch the replay the ball starts to go back after Jackson gets hit on his LEFT hand. The ball then changes directions are begins to go forward again towards out of bounds which could have only happened if it was contacted and redirected. At the time that the ball changes directions the only hand even close to the ball is Jackson’s RIGHT hand. So even with that particular NBA rule it would not cover this as it was Jackson’s opposite hand that knocked the ball out of bounds.

    • helveticaregular

      You are correct. It’s sickening.

      • joke

        He had the ball in both hands, yall Clippers fans searching for reasons to say you got robbed.

  • Real M-Fing talk !!!

    Everyone needs to stop the bullcrap !!!, this is all on that moron point guard !
    All chis paul had to do was accept the foul with 17sec left… GAME OVER !

    The refs had a Prime Directive, and that was to keep OKC in the game and Still the Clipps had the game in the bag, this lost is only on Chris Paul !
    great game Durant…lol sad excuse for an MVP !

    When the refs missed the foul on OKC, they should have given the Clipps the ball and move on !!!… do not make it worse by giving OKC the ball and then further compounding it by calling the 3 point foul on chris paul…

  • Larry

    I’ve seen it all now. U kidding me.

  • linkslinkslinks

    Wrong call. You deserve a dirty sanchez.

  • LeightoWR

    Either it’s a foul or an LAC possession, not both.

    If it was a foul then the ball had to have left RJ’s left hand when MB hit it. Therefore, ball was sent out of play by RJ when he passed to his right.
    (12B. Sect I, Exceptions (5) e. Contact which occurs on the hand of the offensive player, while that hand is in contact with the ball, is legal.)
    If it wasn’t a foul then it’s OKC possession because rule 8 mentioned in article applies.

    Making a bad call to justify another bad call. An eye for an eye makes the world blind… just like this post-season’s refs.

    • Texan

      Good point on the foul. When all things are considered it was neither a foul since the ball was in Jackson’s left hand when contacted meaning as you mentioned that it is not a foul and the ball was subsequently touched by Jackson’s right hand as evident with the ball changing directions from backwards to forwards meaning he was the last one to touch the ball.

    • joke

      the ball was in both hands…not his left hand, barnes pulled his left hand hand off of the ball

  • Jim Derochea

    Why have replay if you don’t have the guts to make the right call? That was awful!

    • joke

      they actually made the right call unknowingly.. lol

  • Rick Rice

    You are out of your F*(&%ing Mind. Not a Clippers or Thunder fan here, but an NBA Fan. It is calls like that which ruin the NBA’s reputation for fair play. The ball was Clearly Off the Thunder, even the TV announcers agreed and were as shocked at the call as was anyone who is A) Not Blind and B) NOT A THUNDER FAN! Doc was right when he said “That’s Our F*&^%ing Ball!” NBA REFS ARE PATHETIC!! REFS GAVE THE GAME TO THE THUNDER…PERIOD END OF STORY!

  • John Jones

    Not sure the if the person who wrote this actually knows anything about basketball or not, but they didn’t make the right call and that rule has nothing to do with this situation. And even if it should have been a foul, you dont give it to the Thunder because you screwed up. That doesn’t make the call “right”

    • joke

      why does this rule not apply in your eyes? it’s the exact situation…

      • coast

        I’m not a fan of either team. No bias here: I think the rule is intended for situations where a defender hits a players hand from behind and causes the ball to go out of bounds. It happens all the time when a player is in position to get a rebound, but a defender hits his hand from behind. The player in position is actually the last one to touch the ball, but the hit from the defender is the cause of the ball going out of bounds. The video doesn’t show that case. It does look like it should have been a shooting foul, but if that’s not called, it should have been Clippers ball.

  • A Jackson Holloway

    There was no foul called, do we need to replay every foul?

  • A Jackson Holloway

    Very very sad, the NBA a wants a Durant/James finals and are willing to do what it takes to get it.

  • joke

    The refs get bailed out in this case in my opinion. They actually did make the right call, but not because they were thinking of this rule, because they were making the call with their hearts at the time. They didn’t want to cheat OKC by giving the ball to Clippers on an obvious foul, so they gave ball to OKC trying to be fair to the players. They got bailed out by this being the right call.

  • sportsworldwest

    what game are these dimwits saying they watched?

  • sportsworldwest

    Very very bad call. Just do away with instant replay – waste of time..

  • Arches Fureal

    it looks like hitting the hand in contact with the ball did not make it go out of bounds but the ball ricocheting from the other off hand is what made it go out of bounds but it looks like everyone is already saying that in the comments. Wait a minute! Is this an NBA official trolling this?