Trail Blazers news: Portland filing official protest to NBA challenging Thunder loss

The Blazers and coach Chauncey Billups have a bone to pick with the league and its officials.
Chauncey Billups, Portland Trail Blazers
Chauncey Billups, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

After losing by 62 points to Oklahoma City earlier this month, the Portland Trail Blazers hung with the Western Conference-leading Thunder until the final seconds last night when a lob from Malcolm Brogdon to Deandre Ayton was picked off, giving OKC a 111-109 win.

Given what happened in the moments leading up to that final play, though, it appears Portland isn't going quietly into the night.

Trail Blazers protesting loss to Thunder after timeout fiasco

With 15.1 seconds left and Portland leading 109-108, Brogdon was trapped just past the half-court line in front of the scorer's table. Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups yelled for a timeout, but it wasn't granted by the officials.

Brogdon was instead called for a double dribble, and an irate Billups ran onto the floor questioning why his timeout wasn't given. He received two technical fouls and was ejected.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit 1 of the 2 ensuing free throws to tie the game before Jalen Williams sunk a game-winning jumper with 2.1 seconds left.

Per ESPN, Billups said after the game:

"We've got timeouts. Referees usually are prepared for that, you know, that instance, that situation. I'm at half court, trying to call a timeout. It's just frustrating. My guys played too hard for that. It's a frustrating play."

Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups

The game's crew chief, Bill Kennedy, explained that Billups' timeout wasn't granted because the official in question was focused on Brogdon:

"The referee in the slot position was refereeing the double-team that was right in front of him, which makes it difficult for, No. 1, to hear and, No. 2, to see a coach request a timeout behind him. He is taught to referee the play until completion, which a double dribble happens, and he correctly calls the double dribble and then pursuant [to that] the technical fouls come forward."

NBA official Bill Kennedy

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, a team has 48 hours to file a protest and five days to provide evidence. Protests cost a team $10,000 to file but the money is refunded if it's successful.


The NBA has only upheld a protest six times in league history, the last coming in 2007.