Lakers-Warriors game sees 'bizarre' finish after clock malfunctions and replay reviews

Lakers-Warriors game sees 'bizarre' finish after clock malfunctions and replay reviews

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Fans usually don’t yawn in the crowd during the final two minutes of a basketball game, especially in a close one like the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers were on Saturday night. 

But, between clock malfunctions and replay reviews, the final 1:50 of the game lasted a total 22 minutes in a delay that led coaches and players to get frustrated on the court while fans couldn’t fathom what was happening. 

It all started after Steph Curry missed his three-pointer with 1:52 left on the clock. The ball went off Andrew Wiggins and Jaxson Hayes as it went out of bounds, but it was called Warriors ball instead of Lakers. 

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Austin Reaves of the Lakers speaks with an official during the Golden State Warriors game at Crypto.com Arena on March 16, 2024, in Los Angeles. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

As a result, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham challenged the call, but he didn’t expect it would lead to a delay that had the likes of Bad Bunny, Kim Kardashian and many others courtside, and all throughout Crypto.com Arena, waiting to restart the game. 

The Lakers’ challenge was successful, but referees weren’t just looking at whose ball it was. They were reviewing LeBron James’ three-pointer that he hit over Curry at the 2:07 mark as well. 

Referees determined James had stepped out of bounds before knocking down the shot that made it a 124-120 game. So, after ending the review, the score was changed back to 124-117. 

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When play finally resumed, officials ordered a jump ball as it went off both Wiggins and Hayes. Once again, though, the play led to a coach’s challenge. 

Hayes’ tip went to the baseline and Warriors polarizing forward Draymond Green threw it off Austin Reaves to try to regain possession. This one was a bit quicker, as the Lakers got the ball with Green out of bounds. 

However, the stoppages in play continued as the shot clock was malfunctioning. Four attempts were made to resume play, but the clock was not cooperating, which ultimately led to boos from the crowd. 

Things got so bad that the Lakers’ public address announcer had to verbalize the 24-second shot clock in five-second intervals, starting at 20. 

“I haven’t seen that,” Ham told The Athletic. “I haven’t seen that before. 

Bad Bunny

Musician Bad Bunny in the front row for the Lakers and Golden State Warriors game at Crypto.com Arena on March 16, 2024, in Los Angeles. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

“It totally takes the air out of the building,” he added about the stoppages in play. “People were there – it’s a game that was going back and forth, they build a nice cushion for themselves, we dig back into it, and then we make a big shot, big play, they make a big shot, big play, guys are scrambling, competing their asses off and then boom – everything just stops. Now you’ve got fans getting a little antsy, thus the boos.”

James also spoke after the eventual Lakers loss, 128-121, where he was clearly displeased with the situation. 

“I’ve never seen that be called before like that – in that particular time,” he said about his three-pointer not counting. “That was kind of weird. It took some momentum away from us.”

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, despite his team being on the winning end, didn’t like that James’ three-pointer didn’t count either. 

“I don’t like the rule you can go back and look at an out-of-bounds [play]. LeBron’s three – that seems to happen once or twice a year. Would love to see that rule go away.”

Kerr also spoke about how the momentum was affected in the building during the break.

LeBron James

LeBron James of the Lakers during a timeout as officials attempt to fix the shot clock at Crypto.com Arena on March 16, 2024, in Los Angeles. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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“It was bizarre,” he said. “Seems like a few times a year you get clock issues. That’s about as extreme as I’ve never been a part of, where the backup doesn’t work either. I felt bad for the fans. That was a great game and all of a sudden the last two minutes, everyone’s just kinda looking at each other wondering what to do.”

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