The Philadelphia 76ers started the season with a 5.0 record, the best in the league. But in their game Friday night against the Denver Nuggets, the 76ers suffered their third straight loss after a bad call by the referee with 1.2 seconds left in the game.
Trailing 98-97, the 76ers set up a sideline inbound play. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic restricted Joel Embiid by grasping his jersey. Embiid, in turn, responded by pushing Jokic to free himself to receive the pass. An offensive foul was called against Embiid, effectively ending the chances for the 76ers to win the game.
According to Clutchpoints.com, NBA's Last Two Minute Report reviewed the video and determined that the foul should have been charged to Jokic and not Embiid.
The L2M report reads: "During the inbound, Jokic (DEN) places his hand to the opposite side of Embiid's (PHI) hip and brings his hand to a pause. As Jokic releases his hand from Embiid's hip, he grasps Embiid's jersey and affects his (freedom of movement). A personal foul should be called instead of an offensive foul."
Denver was already in the penalty at this point. Embiid, an 83% FT shooter this season, could have tied the game or given put the 76ers the lead. It would have been a whole different ball game.
Fans didn't like the call and complained, but the game continued. The possession changed to the Nuggets, and an intentional foul by Al Horford gave Will Barton two free throws, ending the game at 100-97.
It is a heartbreaking loss for the 76ers. Their three-game losing streak dropped their standing to 5th place in the eastern conference, just a week after they were the only unbeaten team left in the league. CBS Sports is restarting the noise over Ben Simmons and his aversion to jump shots. According to them, Simmons has yet to attempt a single shot beyond 14 feet this season. When the 76ers were winning, it didn't really matter. But after a three-game losing streak, something needs to change.