Nick Nurse says referee ‘looked right at me’ but did not award timeout during chaotic final sequence vs. Knicks

The Philadelphia 76ers lost a heartbreaker on Monday night, giving up an 8–0 run to the New York Knicks in the final 30 seconds of play to take a 104–101 win and with it a 2–0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

The game turned on a chaotic final sequence. After Knicks star Jalen Brunson hit a three to cut the Sixers’ lead to 101–99, New York pressed as Philly tried to bring the ball inbounds. Guard Tyrese Maxey briefly had the ball, but it was later ripped away, with the Knicks ultimately gaining possession and finding Donte DiVencenzo, who hit the go-ahead three and sent Madison Square Garden into a frenzy.

After the game, Sixers coach Nick Nurse insisted that he had called a timeout while Maxey had possession, and that he was ignored by the referees.

“The first thing is, obviously they score. We take a look at getting it in quick. We don’t get it in quick,” Nurse told reporters after the game. “I call timeout. The referee looked right at me, ignored me. Went in to Tyrese, I called timeout again. Then the melee started. I guess I gotta run out onto the floor or do something to make sure to get his attention. Needed a timeout there to advance it. Would have been good, but didn’t get it.”

Nurse said he double-checked the tape of the sequence before taking the podium, and could see that he was gesturing for the timeout.

“You can ask [the referee] if you want to. See if he saw me calling timeout,” Nurse said. “I just watched the film to make sure, and I’m clearly calling timeout. I didn’t see if he looked at me in the film, but I could see me clearly calling timeout twice.”

Indeed, watching the replay, you can see Nurse calling for the timeout, although it is hard to tell if Maxey still held sole possession of the ball in the moment.

The sequence moved fast, and while Nurse might have pushed for the call, he didn’t get it.

Game 3 between the Sixers and Knicks tips off on Thursday night in Philadelphia.

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