Reggie Jackson had one of his better games of the season against the depleted Miami Heat on Thursday. Filling in for the injured Patrick Beverley, Jackson registered 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. But all of that was almost wasted on a single fourth-quarter play.
The Clippers had, at one point, led the Heat by as many as 19 points, but Miami clawed the deficit back down to six points. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Jackson was trapped in his own backcourt and attempted to call a timeout. The problem? The Clippers didn’t have a timeout, and were therefore charged a technical foul.
It was a play reminiscent of Chris Webber’s infamous gaffe in the 1993 NCAA national championship game. Michigan trailed by two with the ball when Webber called a timeout that the Wolverines didn’t have, essentially clinching the title for North Carolina.
Had the Heat been a bit closer to the Clippers on the scoreboard, Jackson’s play might have had a similar impact. Tyler Herro made the technical foul free throw to cut the deficit to five, and then Bam Adebayo used the possession that came with the technical to dunk and cut the Clipper lead to three. Things almost got worse when Jackson missed his first free throw on the next possession, but fortunately for Los Angeles, he made the second and pushed the lead back up to two possessions. That was enough for the Clippers to hold off the Heat and save Jackson from one of the most embarrassing lowlights of his career.