Kings Lodge Formal Protest Disputing Loss After Lee’s Buzzer-Beater

The Kings believe they won last Thursday’s 111-110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies following Courtney Lee‘s improbable shot as the buzzer sounded when there was only 0.3 seconds left on the clock. The alley-oop pass from Vince Carter to Lee in the final second is at the crux of the complaint.

The issue is whether Lee got the shot off before the buzzer sounded. Normally, you can’t catch and shoot in under 0.4 seconds left — call it the Derek Fisher corollary. It seemed like Lee caught the lob from Carter and then shot, but the clock appeared to start a tad late and the ball left Lee’s hands before the red light atop the backboard went off. Thus, the Grizzlies came back from a 33-8 first-quarter deficit to snatch the win.

Here’s the play in question one more time:

It’s been suggested Sacramento’s Ryan Hollins, who was defending Carter’s inbounds pass, deflected the ball, which would mean the clock should have started at that moment and not when Lee caught the pass.

Here’s the formal complaint per the NBA’s press release:

NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2014 – The National Basketball Association announced today that the Sacramento Kings have protested the team’s 111-110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on November 13 at FedExForum.  The basis for the Kings’ protest is that Courtney Lee’s game-winning shot should have been disqualified as having been made after time expired.  Under the protest procedures in the NBA Constitution, Memphis and Sacramento each will have an opportunity to submit evidence in support of its position and the protest will be decided by December 2. 

As Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears notes on Twitter, usually the NBA doesn’t overturn on-court decisions like this one. But when you look at the replay it’s conceivable Hollins made contact with the ball, which should negates Lee’s game-winner.

Here’s the best angle to judge in a GIF, but we can’t tell for sure:

Should the Grizzlies’ win be overturned?

Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.