Following a 105-104 Oklahoma City Thunder win that included a replay review on an out-of-bounds call that's going to stir a ton of controversy, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers sounded off on referees and the NBA's replay system.
When Reggie Jackson of the Thunder opted to go for a contested layup rather than dump it off to a wide-open Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, he was hit by Matt Barnes and the ball sailed out of bounds.
No foul was called, and the refs went to replay. Despite the ball clearly touching Jackson's hand last, the refs announced that it was Thunder ball.
Doc Rivers: "Everybody knows it was our ball." Says to get rid of replay— J.A. Adande (@jadande) May 14, 2014
"That was our ball, we got robbed" — Doc Rivers— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) May 14, 2014
Rivers was incensed to the point that he called for the league to do away with replay altogether.
Doc Rivers: "It was our ball. Everybody saw it. It was our ball ... Let's take away replay. We got robbed because of that call."— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 14, 2014
He also pointed out how critical that call could be in the series as a whole, as it put OKC up 3-2.
"That could be a series-defining call. And that's not right." - Doc Rivers on disputed replay with 11.3 seconds left. #LACvsOKC— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 14, 2014
He didn't completely absolve his team of guilt, though.
"They made a horrendous call, but at the end of the day... we did a lot ourselves to not win the game." - Doc Rivers— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 14, 2014
In the officials' defense, there is some language in the rulebook that could back up their decision.
And Tony Brothers claimed the evidence was inconclusive.
Statement from Crew Chief Tony Brothers pic.twitter.com/3hRXEDBS0l— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) May 14, 2014
Although the replay may have scrapped that as well.
Reggie Jackson’s right hand was the last to touch the ball, and Matt Barnes never touched Jackson’s right hand.— Matthew R Tynan (@Matthew_Tynan) May 14, 2014
Matt Barnes took to Instagram to voice his discontent, saying, "There's no question this went off my hand last right?"
The Clippers still had the final possession of the game, and they gave up a 13-point lead in just over three minutes, but there's no doubt that the insane sequence involving the replay influenced the outcome.
Now, L.A. and its coach will have to refocus and defend its home floor at the Staples Center. Game 6 will be Thursday, May 15, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Who will advance?
Will the Clippers be able to bounce back and save their season? It's going to be difficult considering how Game 5 ended, but they'll have the benefit of being on their home floor in front of fans who have supported them through thick and thin this season.
It wouldn't surprise anyone to see this series go seven games, and many basketball fans would love exactly that. If that were to happen, both teams would have the opportunity to validate their standing in the Western Conference and prove that they should be the one advancing.
Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.