Grizzlies broadcasters left with no choice but to intervene in live game

Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports)
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports) /

Memphis Grizzlies broadcasters intervene in Spurs game live on air

Pete Pranica and Brevin Knight, the television broadcasters for the Memphis Grizzlies, were left with no choice other than to break one of the cardinal rules of broadcasting near the end of the overtime period of the team’s game vs the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 9.

First, a bit of background and what happened on the court.

Ja Morant had possession of the basketball for the Grizzlies, drove into the paint for a nine-foot pull-up jumper that was recovered by the San Antonio Spurs near the free-throw line.

The only problem? The game clock stopped after Jakob Poeltl grabbed the rebound with 19.7 seconds left to play in overtime. With the clock stopped and trailing 123-118, Tre Jones raced down the court with the ball and found rookie Jeremy Sochan for an easy layup to make it a three-point game.

Desmond Bane inbounded the ball for the Grizzlies, and the clock started rolling again, but the pass was stolen by Sochan and quickly dunked to make it a one-point game. The Grizzlies called timeout and the players tried to tell the officiating crew that the clock never started while they were in route to their bench to draw up a play to avoid a disastrous upset on the road.

During the timeout, Pranica and Knight were in disbelief at how none of the three officials noticed that the clock was stopped for a full possession at such a crucial moment of the game. The officials walked over to the score table and were talking amongst themselves.

Pranica and Knight then took off their headsets and yelled to the officials that the clock stopped for an entire possession.

Normally, when an NBA official notices a clock malfunction, they will stop play, correct the issue and then have the team that was in possession inbound the ball and resume play. That did not happen in this game and it cost the Grizzlies four points in a matter of seconds.

After some quick lobbying from Pranica and Knight, the officials looked at each other and realized what happened. They pulled out the instant replay monitor and got in touch with the Replay Center to determine the best course of action in how to rectify the situation that just unfolded.

The decision was made to deduct five seconds from the remaining time on the game clock, which meant going from 14.3 seconds left in overtime to 9.3 seconds left in the game.

The Spurs fouled the Grizzlies to stop the clock and put Ja Morant on the free-throw line. He made one of two attempts, which made it 124-122 in favor of the Grizzlies with five seconds left in the game.

The San Antonio Spurs called timeout, advanced the ball down the court, and attempted a game-winning three as the clock expired, Fortunately for the attempt by Devin Vassell was no good and the Grizzlies escaped with a win, despite an egregious error that nearly cost a team a win.

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The Memphis Grizzlies got amazing production from their starters in the 124-122 win. Morant and Bane scored 32 points apiece and Steven Adams recorded an impressive19 rebounds.