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What is it about the Raptors and clock malfunctions?

I almost don’t want to tell you this because there are those out there among you who will explode in righteous indignation and the conspiracy theorists will go berserk.

But, it’s my duty and it sets me up for an easy early story before the Bucks game and, besides, setting the cat amongst the pigeons can be a spot of fun.

So …

Yep, there was another clock cock-up in Houston on Wednesday, mere days after the one that got so many of you up in arms in Sacramento on Sunday.

Here’s the deal and it comes from the full boxscore printout we got after the game:

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With 3:25 left in the third quarter, DeMar DeRozan is fouled grabbing a rebound and he kind of swings his elbow, which sends the refs over to the table to review it to see if it was flagrant or what. They decide to hit him with a technical foul – a judgement call but he did have his elbow high and some contact was made – while also issuing a personal to Houston’s Montrezl Harrell.

Something happened at the scorer’s table, I have no idea what, and when play resumed after the technical free throw there was magically 3:52 on the clock.

I just checked with my calculator and that’s an extra 27 seconds that someone got added to the game.

I heard about it in the middle of the night from a guy and just before we boarded the airplane out of Houston An Alert Irregular pointed it out as well.

Now, I in no way, shape or form think this was intentional, I would imagine when I ask the folks at the league office today (they were understandably off for Thanksgiving yesterday) they will tell me it was human error and I will accept that explanation readily and with no complaints. Someone hit a wrong button, no one noticed it at the time – not the Raptors, the refs, the Rockets or the scoring crew — or it would have been corrected.

Just an oddity and I don’t know if it happens a lot but it happened in a Raptors game right after the Sunday thing and that’s hilarious to me.

It didn’t have an impact on the outcome of the game, it went entirely unnoticed at the time and no one was the worse off for it.

It is not – IT NEVER IS – some grand conspiracy against the Raptors or Canada or you. Honest. The NBA has far bigger fish to fry that and isn’t in the business of blatantly cheating and committing crimes so we can please stop the chatter that this is somehow personal, right?

So think of this latest clock snafu as you want, it’s not a big deal, just a funny happenstance given the, um, timing of it.

Why not?

Okay, need some mail to get us through the weekend, folks.

Figure Three Pointers tomorrow morning and a bit of mail before I wend my way home through – get this! – Minneapolis and then a full-on mailbag for Sunday.

So get cracking at askdoug@thestar.ca and let me know what’s on your minds.

You gotta love the CFL for the comic relief it provides.

The latest? This crazy thing yesterday where, for a couple of hours, for about $ 30 at some Hamilton joints, you could get a big pizza, some wings, a couple of dipping sauces and, oh yeah, TWO TICKETS TO THE GREY CUP!

Now, they ended the promotion shortly after it became public with the rather lame excuse that it was an unauthorized, seemingly because eight rogue Pizza Pizza franchises decided to do this without (a) checking their CFL partners or (b) talking to the top people at the chain.

Sure, it’s embarrassing. Makes the CFL look bush league. Fits right into the narrative that leadership in the league is at an all-time low.

And while I love the fact they say there are only a couple of thousand tickets left for sale, let me ask this:

How many of the tickets “sold” are like the ones that are apparently floating around Hamilton and could have been had for the price of a pizza and some wings?

I know people in the past who have papered the house at Grey Cups with last-minute freebies for one game out in Vancouver; I have no doubt that there will be more than a few people in the stands on Sunday who get there thanks to complimentary tickets that suddenly hit the market because the league needed butts in the seats.

This game and this league this year is becoming Canada’s grand national embarrassment and the people who truly support the league and its teams deserve better.

RIP Mrs. Brady.

News from the HOTH?

None yesterday, it turned out to be an optional practice day and that’s pretty uneventful and I imagine a lot of them loafed around the hotel celebrating Thanksgiving in a very low-key manner.

After this trip – three time zones, eight days already, one more to game to go – they could probably use the break.

And with six in a row at home starting Monday, there’ll be plenty of time to get in the work they need.

Okay, this is too much.

Just ran down to the lobby to grab a much-needed coffee, there are Christmas carols blaring over the sound system and I wanted to hurl my phone at the speaker.

And what’s it like here on Thanksgiving night?

At one point last night, there were seven guys in the lobby bar: Two reporters, three refs, one advance scout and a random dude.

Wild times indeed!


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