NEW YORK The NBA acknowledged Wednesday that a foul should have been called on the final possession of Game 4 in the Western Conference finals, which would have given the San Antonio Spurs a chance to even the series.
Trailing 93-91 on Tuesday night, the Spurs inbounded the ball with 2.1 seconds left to Brent Barry, who was bumped by Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher on the floor. No foul was called, and Barry missed badly on a 3-pointer before time expired.
Spurs players and coach Gregg Popovich said a foul should not have been called, but the NBA disagreed with them after reviewing the play.
"With the benefit of instant replay, it appears a foul should have been called," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.
Had that happened, Barry would have gone to the line for two free throws and a chance to tie the game. Instead, the defending champion Spurs trail the series 3-1 and face elimination Thursday in Los Angeles.