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NBA: Hardaway not fouled on final play of Hawks’ loss to Kings

Tim Hardaway Jr. was not fouled on the final play of the Hawks’ 108-107 loss to the Kings on Friday night, according to the NBA.

The league issued its Last Two Minutes report from the game Saturday, in which it concluded that Matt Barnes made “incidental” contact with Hardaway on his drive to the basket as time was about to expire.

The report did state that the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins should have picked up his sixth foul with 1:28 remaining.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and players, including Hardaway, were adamant following the game that Hardaway was fouled.

According to the report, there was a correct non-call on the play. It stated “Barnes (SAC) maintains legal guarding position and makes incidental contact with Hardaway Jr. (ATL) that does not affect his drive to the basket and shot attempt.”

The Hawks failed to hold a 22-point second half lead in the loss. The Kings’ Darren Collison scored on a left-handed layup high off the backboard with 3.5 seconds remaining to give the Kings the lead and final margin.

Following the game, Hawks coaches and players watched the final sequence many times in groups and by themselves. The Kings’ Ben McLemore and Cousins also converged on Hardaway with 1.1 seconds remaining.

“It’s clearly a foul,” Budenholzer said. “They go right through his body. They go right through his lower left leg. It’s a foul. It was a no-call. We’ll get the report in the morning. They will say it was a no-call. It doesn’t do anything to help us now.”

Hardaway was asked who he believed fouled him and said “all three of them.”

“It’s clear,” Hardaway said. “There is nothing else to be said. It shouldn’t have gotten to that point. Everyone knows the call should have been made. They didn’t make it. Move on. It’s just hard to go out like that, man.”

Cousins did appear to make contact with Hardaway’s body in photos of the play. The official play-by-play credited Barnes with a blocked shot.

The Last Two Minutes report found three incorrect calls in the game, two that favored the Kings and one that favored the Hawks.

According to the report, Cousins should have been called for a personal foul on Paul Millsap at the 1:28 mark. Cousins was playing with five fouls and would have been disqualified. The Hawks led 101-100 at the time of the non-called infraction. Millsap had stolen the ball and McLemore got a steal five seconds later. The report states that “Cousins (SAC) makes contact with Millsap (ATL) that affects his (speed, quickness, balance, rhythm). Cousins made two free throws after drawing a sixth foul on Hawks center Dwight Howard with 44.7 seconds left and tipped in a rebound with 20.8 seconds left. Each of the scores gave the Kings a one-point lead.

The report also stated that Collison should have been called for a shooting foul on Hardaway three seconds after the incorrect call on Cousins. According to the report, “Collison (SAC) makes contact with Hardaway’s Jr. (ATL) arm and affects his SQBR.”

The report stated that Dennis Schroder should have been called for travelling with 1:06 remaining as he hopped “consecutively on the same foot.” Schroder was fouled five seconds later and made both free throws to give the Hawks a 103-102 lead.

The report also cited eight correct non-calls and two correct calls.

The NBA reviews and issues a report on games that are within five points at the two-minute mark or overtime when applicable.

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