NBA says Kevin Durant was fouled on last Christmas Day vs. Cavaliers
Apparently, Richard Jefferson should have been called for “foot contact” with Kevin Durant with 3.1 seconds left to play. Instead, Durant laid on his back and fired up a Hail Mary as the buzzer sounded, only to see Jefferson run the floor with a victorious fist in the air.
“I fell,” Durant told the Undefeated. “And I didn’t fall on my own. I would’ve made that shot if he didn’t trip me up…But they ain’t calling it on him at their crib. It’s not his fault. It’s not the refs fault, either.”
It was somewhat of anticlimactic end to an unbelievable contest, but ending the game on free throws would have been even worse if you ask Cavs head coach, Tyronn Lue.
“You don’t want the game decided on two free throws at the end of the game. I didn’t see (the foul). There wasn’t much contact to me. But to me, you come back and say that you made a mistake in the last two minutes of the game, I mean, that’s on them.”
According to the league, LeBron James also should have been assessed a technical for “deliberately hanging on the rim” with 1:43 remaining. James slammed one home emphatically to give the Cavs a 105-103 lead, their first lead since the first quarter at 10-8.
“It’s one of those things; plays can go either way. … When you get down to these two quality teams, each play back and forth, everything can be dissected,” Richard Jefferson told ESPN. “It’s just one of those things that went in our favor at the last play.”
NBA referees are human beings and human beings make mistakes. If the league picked apart every call made and missed, it would take away an exciting aspect of the game.
The Finals rematch was one of the best regular season games in recent history, and quite possibly a taste of what is to come in this years Finals.