Instant replay ended up being a crucial factor in the outcome of Game 3.
With 1:29 left in the fourth quarter and the Lakers leading 84-80, Los Angeles double-teamed Kevin Garnett and forced the ball out of bounds. Officials ruled it would be Celtics ball, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers called timeout to set up a play.
During the timeout, officials looked at the play and determined the ball went out of bounds off of Garnett, giving the ball back to the Lakers taking away a crucial chance for the Celtics to set up a scoring play.
“They were going to replay it anyway,” said Rivers. “That’s why I called the timeout. I thought that was a tough overrule because I watched it there five times, and I wasn’t sure, and I thought that if it was inclusive that you couldn’t overturn it. But clearly I was wrong.”
For his part, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he did not request that officials look at the play.
“You know, I can’t say that my requesting it gave him the impetus to do that, but it was the thing that was …. it was the right action to do,” said Jackson. “It was under two minutes [left in the half], and that’s what they can do.”
Replay was used a short time later on a ball knocked out of bounds when Lamar Odom and Rajon Rondo were hustling to save a loose ball. After review, the ball was correctly ruled out of bounds off Odom.