The NBA D-League began using instant replays for its referees this season. Every venue, including the Portland Expo, has a flat screen monitor at the scorers’ table to review plays.
Fancy equipment that the referees occasionally use … except when the Maine Red Claws really wanted them to.
The referees refused to review a controversial basket Friday night in the Sioux Falls Skyforce’s 92-88 win over the Red Claws, before 2,273 at the Expo.
Henry Walker scored a driving jumper for Sioux Falls with 3.8 seconds left, giving the Skyforce an insurmountable 92-88 lead.
But the Red Claws argued that Walker’s shot came after the 24-second shot clock expired. Maine Coach Mike Taylor called timeout to dispute the play. But the basket stood.
“They just said it’s not reviewable. We disagreed,” Taylor said. “In my opinion, in a situation like that (deciding) whether it’s a shot-clock violation has to be reviewed at the end of the game.”
Taylor would have an argument if this had been an NBA game – shots occurring at the end of the shot-clock can be reviewed. But according to the Red Claws’ media relations staff, D-League rules do not call for reviews of such plays.
The loss dropped the Red Claws to 5-3 – their third straight home defeat. Maine is also winless (0-2) against teams with a winning record. Sioux Falls is to 7-2.
Guard Frank Gaines led Maine with 23 points, but he also had seven turnovers – a good part of the 24 turnovers by Maine (nine coming in the fourth quarter).
“In the fourth quarter, we didn’t get the quality-type of possessions we wanted,” Taylor said.
“We defended really well. And for 21/2 to three quarters, we played well offensively.”
The game featured the league’s two best defenses and it showed. Maine shot 36 percent, Sioux Falls 35 percent. The defenses also got aggressive –explaining the total of 48 fouls.
Walker, who played for the Red Claws when he was known as William Walker, scored 21, including five 3-pointers. Another former Maine player, forward Chris Ayers, had nine rebounds, including six offensive boards.
Center Justin Hamilton led the Skyforce with 23 points and nine rebounds (six of those on the offensive end).
Point guard Kam Taylor scored 19 and Chris Wright added 16.
The Red Claws were running early and led 41-29 with 7:35 left in the second quarter. Maine kept the lead through most of the third quarter, but Walker hit two 3-pointers at the end of the quarter for a 78-77 lead and the Red Claws never led again.
NOTES: Forward Romero Osby, who has been inactive because of a pulled hamstring, was activated and started Friday night. But Osby injured his shoulder just 31/2 minutes into the game and did not return. He is scheduled to have it examined Saturday. …
To make room for Osby on the roster, point guard Abdul Gaddy was deactivated. … The Red Claws visit a familiar foe, the Springfield Armor, on Sunday at 3 p.m. Maine is 3-1 against the Armor. The Red Claws’ next game in Portland is Dec. 31 at 1 p.m., against Delaware.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: