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(The Sports Xchange) - The Sacramento Kings beat the Raptors on Sunday in a controversial finish that left Toronto coach Dwayne Casey struggling to accept the outcome.
In an ending that neither team could quite believe, the Kings held on for a 102-99 win in Sacramento, when the referees ruled that Toronto's Terrence Ross could not have released a last-ditch 30-foot three-pointer before the final buzzer.
Ross appeared to tie the game with his prayer with less than one second left.
However, replays showed that Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins tipped the preceding inbounds pass, so even though Ross jacked up his shot well before the final horn, the refs ruled after a lengthy review that the clock had not started upon the tip as it should have.
According to referee Mike Callahan, the clock should have started about a half-second faster than it did.
Therefore, they adjudged that time was up before Ross took the shot.
The ruling riled the Raptors.
"I knew I had at least two seconds," Ross said. "I knew I could take a dribble and still get it off. I don't know how a tipped ball can amount for a five-or-six-tenths of a second ... Nothing can justify it. It's just a bad call."
Coach Casey said the Raptors (8-5) would look into the call with the league but didn't know if the team had any real options other than to swallow the difficult outcome.
"I've got to hear another explanation, because we reviewed it about 10 times in there. Even if the clock started once DeMarcus Cousins deflected it, T. Ross caught it, shot it with plenty of time ... I've got to hear more."
(This version of the story corrects the dateline.)
Editing by Andrew Both