NBA L2M: Luke Kennard's 4-Point Play vs. Wizards Should Have Been Waved Off

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 26, 2022

Los Angeles Clippers guard Luke Kennard (5) celebrates after hitting the game tying shot against the Washington Wizards during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Washington. The Clippers erased a 35 point deficit to defeat the Wizards 116-115. From left, Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33), Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann (14), Kennard, and Clippers forward Justise Winslow (20). (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

All Tuesday night, social media lampooned the Washington Wizards' lack of execution in their attempt to foul the Los Angeles Clippers before Luke Kennard converted a four-point play at the buzzer for the win.

One problem: The Wizards actually did execute their attempted foul.

The NBA released its Last Two Minute report for the game Wednesday and said Bradley Beal fouled Kennard prior to him beginning his shot motion and that the shot should not have counted. Kennard should have instead been shooting two free throws, which would have ostensibly locked up the game for the Wizards.

Instead, Beal's foul was called on Kennard's made shot and he went to the free-throw line to cap off one of the more improbable comebacks in recent NBA history. The Clippers trailed by as many as 35 points before roaring back with an 80-point second half to pull off the win.

"I have no words," Beal told reporters after the game. "Besides 'embarrassing.' I was frustrated when I had to go back in. This should have been a game where the starters get their rest. Plain and simple."

The Wizards' loss was their fourth straight and dropped them to 23-25 on the season. It also led to even more speculation about the future of Beal, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Beal's public admonition of his team's inability to close after the Wizards built a big lead isn't promising, and it's unlikely the NBA's acknowledgment of the missed call will do anything to soothe the frustration.