Officially, it’s an NBA first: Coaches successfully argued referees’ calls Saturday.
Sacramento’s Luke Walton became the first coach to win a challenge — a new option for coaches to use in the NBA this season — when he asked for a review of an out-of-bounds call during the third quarter of the Kings’ game against the Indiana Pacers in Mumbai, India.
Review showed that Walton was right and the Kings retained possession. About a minute later, Pacers coach Nate McMillan wanted a review of a goaltending call made against Indiana center Myles Turner — and he, too, was proved correct, resulting in a jump ball at midcourt instead of two points for the Kings.
So Mumbai becomes the answer to a trivia question — the site of the first successful NBA coaches’ challenge. The Pacers and Kings wrapped up a two-games trip to India, the NBA’s first two games played in that country, with Indiana winning 130-106 to complete a sweep of the series.
“Thank you India for allowing us the opportunity to make history…thankful to be a part of this moment,” Sacramento’s Richaun Holmes tweeted postgame.
Coaches may challenge one call per game, provided what they’re challenging meets certain criteria and if they have a timeout remaining. The timeout is charged if the challenge is unsuccessful, and the challenge isn’t retained even if it results in a call being overturned.