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Coach Fumes About Officials


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Posted on Wed, Mar. 03, 2004



Coach fumes about officials


It's all bad news for the Heat: a four-game losing streak, falling a half-game out of a playoff spot, an eight-point fourth quarter and anger about the officiating.




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Stan Van Gundy raced down the sideline faster than most of his guards did the entire night, face red, ready to detonate.


The target: referee Gary Zielinski, who watched Raptors forward Chris Bosh run into Eddie Jones as the Heat guard was attempting a game-tying three-pointer and chose not to call a foul.


As Van Gundy was yelling at the official, who could only muster a meek response of ''nope,'' it didn't matter that the Heat had scored only eight points in the fourth quarter. It didn't matter that Jones didn't score in the second half. It didn't matter that his team had blown a 15-point lead.


All that mattered was Jones was not awarded three free throws to possibly tie the score, and that his team lost 89-86 because of it.


The Heat has lost four straight and is a half-game out of the final playoff position.


''There is not even a controversial call the entire season that's gone the [Heat's] way,'' a distraught Van Gundy said after the game. ''People keep telling me it evens out. It's not evening out.''


Had Jones been awarded the free throws, memories of one of one of the worst quarters in NBA history could have been erased. But instead of overtime, the Heat was left to brood over a horrific fourth-quarter performance.


The teams combined for 19 points in the period, the lowest fourth-quarter total in NBA history. The Heat shot 2 of 19 from the field (10.5 percent) for the period, with only Lamar Odom and Udonis Haslem scoring a bucket apiece. The team committed six of its 11 turnovers in the fourth. And worst of all, the Heat came out on the losing side of an 11-8 fourth-quarter score.


In the first three quarters, the Raptors had hit 11 three-pointers, both teams had shot better than 50 percent and all five Heat starters were in double figures.


But after two Rafer Alston free throws gave the Heat an 80-78 lead with 11:30 left, the scoring came to a screeching halt. Neither team scored for the next 3:47, and the Heat didn't score again until the 5:35 mark of the period.


By the time Donyell Marshall hit a contested pull-up 22-footer to give the Raptors an 87-82 lead with 2:44 left, it looked like the Heat had no chance of recovering.


Haslem, though, gave Miami hope with a three-point play with 1:54 remaining, and he followed that up by making one of two free throws that brought the Heat to within 87-86.


After a Raptors timeout came the first of two controversial non-calls involving Jones and Bosh. Jones, who was 0 of 4 from the field in the second half after scoring 18 in the first half, came up with a steal and raced down the court with Bosh running beside him.


As Jones was about to lean in for a layup attempt, he lost his balance, ran into Bosh and ended up laying out of bounds with the ball in his hands. The turnover gave the Raptors the ball back with 33 seconds left and leading by one.


The Heat forced Dion Glover into a miss but couldn't come up with the rebound and was forced to send Vince Carter to the foul line to extend the Raptors' lead to three with 9.3 seconds left.


After a timeout, Jones received the ball from Alston, got Bosh into the air with a shot fake and tried to shoot as Bosh was falling into him.


There was no call, and Van Gundy was incensed. The Heat lost three games on controversial referee decisions against Portland, Detroit and Cleveland.


''We go up in Portland and lose a game on a touch foul, and the explanation from [referee] Mark Davis is a call at that point in the game is the same as a call at any other point in the game,'' Van Gundy said. ''Now, Eddie shot fakes a guy off his feet but now when it's us on offense, it's not the same call at the end of a game. We're 0-4 on those calls. In this playoff race, that's a big difference.''

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"This is a game we can't complain about the referees," said Miami forward Brian Grant, whose team led by 15 points after the first quarter. "This was a game where we were in control in the first half. If we had just kept that going."


That Xavier education paid off quite well for Mr. Grant. You don't whine about officials when you score 8 points in the 4th quarter and blow a 15 point lead.

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I know it's not an excuse for the Heat losing because it's not like it would have guaranteed a win anyway but still, the refs are there for calling fouls and I know that they can't always catch every single foul but that was obivous as fudge...cmon now..and this happens too much

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