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Kobe Bryant Foul on Ricky Rubio Should Have Been Called, NBA Says

Ricky Rubio and Kobe Bryant

MINNEAPOLIS — Everyone in the Timberwolves locker room believed Kobe Bryant got away with a foul that allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to hold on to a much-needed victory in Minnesota.

The NBA agreed with them: The league informed the Timberwolves that the referee crew should have called Bryant for a foul on a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“Video review by the league office confirmed that Kobe Bryant fouled Rubio while Rubio was in his shooting motion,” the league said on its website. “Rubio should have been awarded three free throws.”

It won’t change the outcome of the game, a 120-117 victory for the Lakers, who have beaten the Timberwolves 22 straight times and are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. It also may do little to assuage a feeling in the Timberwolves organization that they are not getting the same respect from the officials that more star-laden teams receive.

But it will at least give Ricky Rubio, coach Rick Adelman and the rest of a frustrated team a little bit of solace that their disappointment was justified this time.

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