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Questionable lane violation call ends Suns’ comeback attempt

Kelly Oubre Jr. #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena on December 16, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Trail Blazers defeated the Suns 111-110. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns relinquished a late lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder and lost 111-107 on Friday.

A last-gasp comeback attempt was stifled by a questionable lane violation call on forward Kelly Oubre with less than five seconds left in the game.

The Thunder had taken a six-point lead with 16.9 seconds remaining and the game looked over. But after guard Devin Booker made a pair of free throws, forward Mikal Bridges forced a turnover and Oubre drained a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 107-106.

After the Thunder made a pair of free throws, Oubre went to the line with 4.2 seconds left. The Suns trailed 109-106.

He made the first free throw to cut the deficit to two, but with such little time remaining on the clock, he missed the second on purpose to try to get the rebound. Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox did the same on Monday and succeeded, helping his team complete a comeback victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It looked like Oubre pulled it off successfully with a quick line drive that bounced off the front of the rim, but a referee called a lane violation on Oubre and gave the ball to the Thunder.

Upon slow-mo review, it’s pretty clear Oubre waited until after the ball hit the rim before taking a step over the free throw line.

The Last Two Minute Report released by the NBA on Sunday gave their interpretation of the foul.

Oubre Jr. (PHX) leans across the plane of the free throw line prior to his free throw attempt making contact with the rim.

The Suns were then forced to foul Danilo Gallinari, a 90% free throw shooter, who iced the game at the line with 3.6 seconds left.

Oubre finished the game with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Booker had 27 points on 9-for-18 shooting but fouled out on an intentional foul with seven seconds left.

Phoenix now has a 20-28 record while the Thunder improved to 30-20.

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