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League officials say referee botched call in Rockets loss

NEW YORK -- Referees made an incorrect call late in the final seconds of Portland's 122-120 NBA playoff victory Sunday over Houston, the league said Monday.

The over-time road triumph gave the Trail Blazers a 1-0 edge over the Rockets in their best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series.

“After video review by the league office, we have determined that the officials were incorrect in assessing a foul to the Rockets' Dwight Howard with 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime,” NBA President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn said.

“The foul should have been called on the Blazers' Joel Freeland and Howard should have been awarded two free throws.”

That would have put Howard at the line with the chance to give the Rockets the lead. Instead, Freeland made one of two free throws to create Portland's final victory margin.

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