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NBA says Luke Kennard's wild 3-pointer to cap Clippers comeback shouldn't have counted

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Somehow, the Washington Wizards' 35-point blown lead against the Los Angeles Clippers got a little worse. Or better, depending on how you look at it.

One day after the Wizards became the laughingstock of the NBA on Tuesday when they turned a 66-31 lead into a 116-115 loss to a heavily shorthanded Clippers team, the NBA admitted its officials blew a pair of calls during the Clippers' final two possessions, which both ended in 3-pointers.

On those possessions, a lineup of Clippers bench players still needed a miracle considering they were down six points with 11 seconds left. What followed was an all-time incredible sequence.

First, Luke Kennard made this shot to cut a 115-109 lead down to three points:

The Wizards still had the ball up three points with 8.2 seconds left, but a five-second violation immediately turned the ball back over to the Clippers. Once more on offense, the Clippers turned to Kennard, who didn't just make a game-tying 3-pointer. He drew a foul from Bradley Beal to set up a game-winning free throw.

Kennard, of course, made the free throw. Then the Wizards failed to connect on a last-second prayer and took the loss. It was the second-biggest blown lead in modern NBA history, and a low point for a Wizards team that started so well this season.

NBA: Incorrect calls preceded both Luke Kennard 3-pointers

One day later, the NBA released its Last Two Minute Report for the game, and the analysis was brutal for the Wizards.

According to the NBA, the first Kennard 3-pointer was preceded by a five-second violation by Clippers forward Justise Winslow, which meant the Clippers should have turned the ball over rather than halve the Wizards' lead.

Then there was the second 3-pointer, which the league said should not have counted because Beal fouled Kennard prior to the shot:

Beal (WAS) places two hands on Kennard's (LAC) body and makes contact with his arm, prior to the start of his upward shooting motion. A personal foul should be assessed and the basket should not count.

You can see where the NBA is coming from when looking over the latter highlight, but then again, maybe don't soft-foul the other team's most dangerous shooter when he will clearly be looking for any opportunity to launch a 3-pointer. Kennard finished the game with 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting (5-of-8 from deep) plus eight rebounds, six assists and zero turnovers.

The Wizards can at least hold onto the fact the Clippers got a little help with their comeback, but that only explains seven of the 35 points.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Luke Kennard (5) is surrounded by teammates after hitting the game tying shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Washington. The Clippers erased a 35 point deficit to defeat the Wizards 116-115. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The Clippers getting some help doesn't make Tuesday any less embarrassing for the Wizards. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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