Within the Nuggets’ 19-point, second-half collapse on Wednesday night in Sacramento, officials multiple calls, in both directions, that could’ve changed the outcome of the game.
Tied at 124 with 55 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Kings forward Trey Lyles tapped a ball to Domantas Sabonis for a late dunk. According to the NBA’s Last Two Minute report, Lyles should’ve been whistled out-of-bounds, and the decisive bucket never should’ve counted.
Prior to that skirmish, the report also said Sabonis should’ve been whistled for a foul after Nikola Jokic collected the defensive rebound. Instead, the loose ball led to a pivotal Kings basket.
Before Christian Braun responded with a dunk to tie it at 126, the report also said Bones Hyland should’ve been whistled for an offensive foul against De’Aaron Fox, which would’ve mitigated the tying basket.
Later, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was whistled for a late foul on Malik Monk that sent him to the free-throw line and gave the Kings the game. The report found no issue with Monk’s use of his arm that helped leverage space off Caldwell-Pope.
None of the missed calls should absolve the Nuggets from getting outscored 33-21 in the fourth quarter or blowing a 19-point lead, but some of the whistles were damaging, nonetheless.
At 22-12, the Nuggets are still tied for first in the West.