Did the Pelicans get screwed on late call to benefit Anthony Davis?

Did Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers get bailed out by a controversial late-game foul call? You be the judge.
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans / Tyler Kaufman/GettyImages

The thrilling back-and-forth affair that was the inaugural 2024 NBA Play-In Tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans came down to the final seconds, and the former narrowly escaped with a 110-106 victory.

But of course, rather than talking about the exciting clash, there appears to be public debate regarding this controversial foul called on Pelicans big man Larry Nance Jr. on a late-game shot attempt by Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis:

Holding a two-point advantage with roughly 17 seconds remaining, LeBron James attempted a contested one-legged turnaround jumper with multiple defenders in his grill to put the game away for the Lakers, well short of the rim. But Davis was in the paint to corral a one-handed offensive rebound, trying to get the ball off before the shot clock expired, drawing a foul on Nance that resulted in two free throws and a chance to give Los Angeles a multi-possession lead.

Davis was cool, calm, and collected at the charity stripe, sinking both attempts to put the Lakers up 106-102 with 14.1 seconds on the clock and in a prime position to leave New Orleans with a road play-in victory.

Did the Pelicans get screwed on the foul call during the late-game Anthony Davis putback attempt?

You be the judge. Did the officials get the call right? While it can be frustrating for Pelicans fans to see an intense game come down to a contentious foul call, Nance appeared to be holding Davis.

Alas, the Lakers prevailed, with Davis and James leading the charge en route to securing the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and a first-round playoff matchup with the reigning champion Denver Nuggets.

Davis scored 20 points (6-of-16 shooting), including the two clutch free throws that virtually ended the game, adding 15 rebounds, three blocks, and a steal. Meanwhile, James contributed 23 points (6-of-20 shooting), nine boards, nine dimes, three steals, and two blocks.

Perhaps the Pelicans dodged a bullet by losing this game if they can claim the eighth seed in the West in their next play-in opportunity, avoiding the Nuggets in Round 1.