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A defensive 3-second call helps Lakers win the 2nd seed in the West

April 13th, 2011 1 comment

On Wednesday night the Kings could have pulled off one of their greatest comeback victories in their history, and doing it in the game that might have been their last in Sacramento. Down by 20 points against the Lakers in the fourth quarter, the Kings took the lead 97-95 with 1:22 remaining.

If it hadn’t been for a technical foul that the Sacramento announcers really didn’t talk about at the time (probably due to the frenzy of trying to hold on for a huge victory), the Kings could have won this historical game in regulation instead of losing it in overtime.

Instead, Samuel Dalembert was called for a defensive 3-second lane violation since he wasn’t actively guarding his man, Pau Gasol.

At the time it happened, it might have appeared the Kings were doing something wrong by playing some illegal defense on Kobe out on the perimeter since there was alot of jumping around by defenders close to Kobe. But the official play-by-play data says that Dalembert was called for the violation.

For defensive 3-seconds, the rulebook states…

“Any defensive player, who is positioned in the 16-foot lane…must be actively guarding an opponent within three seconds. Actively guarding means being within arms length of an offensive player and in a guarding position.”

Looking at the video, it looks like Dalembert was clearly in the lane for 3 seconds nowhere near Gasol to be considered “actively guarding” him. Good call by Bill Kennedy, with a little help by Gasol who made the defensive 3-second hand signal to help tip-off Kennedy.

You’ll see that another ref, Mark Ayotte, was much closer to the violation along the baseline, and didn’t even glance into the painted area. Instead, he was watching Kobe with the ball, which the other ref Leroy Richardson was already doing. It was Kennedy along the near sideline who caught it. So kudos to him.

As a side note in this video, you have to love the frenzy of the Sacramento crowd after they took a 97-95 lead, and the announcer saying, “You could not write a better ending to what’s happening right now in Sacramento!”

Because of Dalembert’s defensive mistake, Kobe hit a technical free throw that got the Lakers within one point. That point was huge since the L.A was able to tie it up shortly thereafter, push the game into OT, win the game, and most importantly, clinch the second seed in the Western Conference over the Mavericks.