Lakers coach says Gasol goaltended

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two days later, Phil Jackson called goaltending on his own center.

An hour before tip-off of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Jackson said Los Angeles center Pau Gasol should have been whistled for goaltending on Orlando rookie guard Courtney Lee's missed layup in the final second of regulation in Game 2 on Sunday night.

Gasol's right hand grazed the net and his fingers hit the rim while he trying to block Lee's miss, a shot that would have given Orlando its first ever win in the Finals and tied this series 1-1. Instead, Lee's shot caromed off the backboard and front of the rim and the teams went to overtime tied at 88-88.

The Lakers went on to win 101-96, but Jackson said they shouldn't have.

"It's called basket interference," Jackson said Tuesday. "Even if you hit the net supposedly in the process that's part of it, but that rule is kind of archaic. It isn't called in this day and age as much, but when we were in high school -- that was something a high school ref might call, basket interference."

With 0.6 seconds left, Lee caught an alley-oop inbounds pass from Hedo Turkoglu but was long with his short shot as Gasol closed in on him. Shocked, Lee put his hands behind his head and walked to the bench in disbelief as his teammates tried to comfort him.

Jackson couldn't recall a game ending on a goaltending call, but felt this one should have.

He was asked if the correct call was made.

"According to the rules, it was not," he said. "It wasn't made."

However, the NBA said Bernie Fryer, the league's vice president and director of officials, confirmed the call on the court was correct and there was no goaltending.

Rule No. 11, section I-A (i) of the NBA rules says a player shall not "vibrate the rim or backboard so as to cause the ball to make an unnatural bounce."

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was reluctant to address the issue.

"Look, I'm not going to get into a call," Van Gundy said. "Calls didn't decide that game. I don't think his [Gasol's] hand being there or not being there had anything to do with the shot going in or not. You're just not going to get a complaint from me on that call."

Lee's shot, and its degree of difficulty, has been overanalyzed by fans and media members since it bounced harmlessly to the court. Some felt it was makable, while others thought Lee did the best he could under the circumstances.

Van Gundy said Lee's shot was no gimme.

"That was not an easy shot, OK?" he said. "It was certainly a good opportunity with six-tenths of a second to go. You're just hoping to get an opportunity and we got one. But that was not an easy shot, and he hasn't taken any heat from us."

But Lee hasn't been able to get his miss out of his head.

The rookie from Western Kentucky said the best way he could think of to try to forget the potential game-winner was to watch it over and over and move on.

"When I was at home, I was just beating myself up a little bit," Lee said Tuesday before Game 3. "But then when I got in here [Tuesday], my teammates were picking me up a little bit. That was my main goal, to just get it out of my head."

The play joined Nick Anderson's four missed free throws from the 1995 Finals as the most heartbreaking moments in franchise history. Lee said the replays didn't necessarily make him feel any better about the miss but that it did allow him to put it in his past.

"During the game, I felt like I had a good look," Lee said. "Seeing how I missed it, I was floating under the basket, just watching it over, it helps me get over it."