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#pounditTuesday, October 3, 2023

Referees butcher ending of Heat-Bucks game with foul calls, free throws

The referees in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat butchered the ending with a pair of foul calls.

The Heat won the game 116-114 after Jimmy Butler made two free throws with no time left to take a 2-0 series lead.

Miami was up 114-111 when Goran Dragic was called for a questionable foul on Khris Middleton with 4.3 seconds left. Dragic barely touched Middleton, but the foul call nevertheless resulted in three free throws for the Bucks forward.

Middleton made all three to tie the game.

Then Miami gave the ball to Butler for the final possession. He attempted a shot at the buzzer that missed, but the refs called a foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The foul sent Butler to the line with 0.0 seconds left. He made both his free throws to give his team a 116-114 win.

In both cases, barely any contact was made, and a foul probably should not have been called. The foul called on Antetokounmpo can be seen as a makeup call for the foul on Dragic that gave Milwaukee an opportunity to tie the game.

The Heat are up 2-0 in the series with Game 3 coming on Friday in Orlando, Fla.

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