This article originally appeared on VICE Sports Canada.
The Toronto Raptors and their fans have cried foul over officiating many times before, but in Sunday's 102-99 controversial loss to Sacramento, the screwing came from a timekeeper and not a referee.
With the Raptors trailing by three and inbounding with 2.4 seconds left on the clock, Terrence Ross took a couple quick dribbles and threw up a 33-foot prayer... that dropped. The triple knotted the game at 102, sending this wild one to overtime, or so we thought.
As the referees huddled to discuss a possible issue with the clock, every Raptors fan knew what was coming. After deliberation, it was ruled that the ball touched DeMarcus Cousins' finger on the inbound, but the clock didn't start.
As a result, no basket, no overtime, and many around the Toronto basketball scene are crying 'conspiracy' once again.
"I knew I had at least two seconds," Ross said. "I knew I could take a dribble and still get it off. I don't know how a tipped ball can amount for a five-or-six-tenths of a second.
Nothing can justify it. It's just a bad call.
Here's more from Ross, who talked about the controversial ending postgame.
Upon review of the play many times over, it's clear that Ross releases the ball with about 0.4 left on the clock, meaning, obviously, that thing should count. No questions, the league screwed the Raptors over again, right? But if you look closer and examine the play from the inbound pass, it is also clear that the ball hits Cousins' finger but the clock didn't start as it was supposed to.
After deliberation by the referees and off-court review officials, it was determined that more than 2.4 seconds ticked off the clock between the time of contact off the inbound pass and when Ross released the shot.
The other issue is the fact that many feel there should have been more than 2.4 seconds on the clock in the first place. Which, if you're a fan of simple math, is obvious.
Even the Kings knew they got off lucky with that controversial call, and couldn't get into the dressing room fast enough.
"We never get these kinds of breaks. It felt good to get off the court and celebrate this win," former Raptor Rudy Gay said after the game.
So it appears, this time at least, that a timekeeping error and not the work of the zebras cost the Raptors a potential win. Fans, coaches and players couldn't care less who is responsible, though, they are just fed up with being on the wrong end of the NBA's endless officiating debacles.
Dwane Casey, wasn't happy postgame, and lost his shit before leaving the court.
A visibly upset Kyle Lowry, meanwhile, elected silence to avoid a fine.
Other Raptors players took to Twitter to complain.
Perhaps the best social media reaction goes to the Kings, though, for a straight Grade A troll job.