The Denver Nuggets had a slow start to Game 5, as they looked to close out their first championship as a franchise, but by the fourth quarter they had taken control of the game, leading by seven with four minutes to play.
However, from there, Jimmy Butler, who had been quiet and passive all night, finally got going with a pair of threes that pulled the Heat within four.
From there, Butler went for a heat-check three in the corner and, while it went begging, got bailed out by a foul call that looked dubious at best and got immediately challenged by Michael Malone.
I'm just posting the video, y'all pic.twitter.com/OuTClCondt
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) June 13, 2023
Despite the ESPN broadcast booth and just about every non-Heat fan watching at home being in agreement on it being a non-foul at best and an offensive foul on Butler at worst, the call somehow stood upon review and Butler was given three free throws. He naturally knocked them all down, ultimately scoring 13 consecutive points for the Heat to get them into their first lead of the fourth quarter.
It was wild to hear Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mike Breen talking about the review as if it were a mere formality that it’d be overturned, given how rarely they find themselves in total agreement, only for the verdict to come back as the call stands.