Wednesday, April 7, 2010
NBA: Refs missed foul on Durant
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The NBA announced Wednesday officials missed a foul in the final seconds of Utah's overtime victory over Oklahoma City the previous night.
"On the final play of last night's Oklahoma City-Utah game, the officials missed a foul committed by the Jazz's C.J. Miles on the Thunder's Kevin Durant during a 3-point shot attempt," NBA president of league and basketball operations Joel Litvin said in a statement.
Deron Williams' jumper with 1.1 seconds left in the overtime gave the Jazz a 140-139 lead and Miles clinched the win with a block on Durant's shot at the buzzer. Durant believed he was fouled and he and several teammates stayed on the court pleading for a call that never came before the officials were escorted to the tunnel by security.
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Durant, a 90 percent foul shooter, would have shot three free throws with a chance to put the Thunder ahead with less than a second to play had a foul been called.
The loss knocked Oklahoma City into the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference entering Wednesday.
"Somebody has to lose the great games in order for it to be a great game, and unfortunately we lost. ... There's a lot of games that we won the tough games and that one, we lost," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We didn't get the stop at the very end of the game, regardless of the play at the end."
The missed call came four days after Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics was fined $25,000 for criticizing officials for calling fouls against Durant's defenders as though he were Michael Jordan -- and using a profanity during that criticism.
"I think referees are great at what they do," Brooks said. "I've talked to them as a player. I've always had good relationships with them and I still do. One of the things that they do, and they do it well, is they call the game the same whether it's the first minute or the last minute of the game.
"They have a tough job. It's a tough job to be able to make the correct call and they do it high-90 percent of the time."
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan could not recall a specific instance when the league acknowledged an officiating mistake after the fact -- though it has happened during each of the last two postseasons.
"That's part of basketball," Sloan said before Utah's game in Houston. "I don't think you can spend all your time worrying about that. Once it's over, you might be upset a little bit at the moment, but life goes on. You can't do anything about it."
Sloan said he's put the ending and the controversial ending behind him.
"I don't know if it benefits you to continue to harp on it, or talk about it," he said. "The job now is to forget about that, and that's what you try to teach guys. Forget about the game last night, because you're going to have to play a different team in a different setting, different situation."
When he looked back at the tape of the game, Brooks said he questioned his team's decision not to foul prior to Williams' game-winning shot. The Jazz were not in the bonus and would not have shot free throws.
"We had a chance to foul and we did not do that. I don't know if that would have changed him from making his shot, but we didn't get the stop," Brooks said.