League announces decision on Kawhi Leonard’s game-sealing offensive foul on James Harden
The nail-biter between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday ended in a controversial fashion. Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was whistled for an offensive foul on James Harden in what turned out to be a game-saving play for the Nets.
The league has now come out with an official statement on the controversial call, and as it turns out, the NBA is backing the referees’ in-game decision. This report comes via Andrew Grief of the Los Angeles Times:
Per the NBA’s last 2 minute report, this was deemed a correct call.
“Leonard (LAC) extends his off-arm into Harden's (BKN) front and dislodges him from his defensive position.” https://t.co/n7y4ab8mmN
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) February 22, 2021
As you saw in the clip, there are two primary angles that provide a clear view of the play in question. From behind, it did look like Harden flopped on the play. However, the view from underneath the basket also shows how Kawhi Leonard warded off Harden using his left arm. While there’s no denying that there was some (or a lot, depending on where you’re sitting) of playacting on Harden’s part, Leonard isn’t completely in the clear here.
Regardless of what everyone and anyone might think of the play, however, the NBA has decided that the offensive foul call stands. That’s that, folks.
This was a key win for the Kevin Durant-less Nets, who have now amassed six consecutive victories. They also took down the mighty Clippers – for a second time this month — which is a huge statement victory for the powerhouse team of the East.
On the other hand, Sunday’s defeat was L.A.’s second loss in their last three games. The way by which they lost this one, though, is an undeniably tough pill to swallow for any Clipper fan.