Here is a look at the key moment at the end of game two of the NBA Finals in which Kevin Durant had a chance to tie the game with 10 seconds left, and no foul was called on LeBron James.
The key here is the position of the lead official (lower-left; click on image for a larger version)…
Photo: ABC Sports
As you can see, the lead official is behind and to the left of Durant and cannot see the contact made by LeBron below the shoulder on the right side of Durant’s body. And the other two officials are too far away to make the call.
Typically, this is where the official wants to be so that he is not too close and can see more of the action. On a play like this, a defensive foul will either be on the forearms as the arms come up, in which case the shooter’s arms will flail, or the contact is on the shooting arm once they are up in the air.
But in this case, the official was in the worst spot possible and there is no way he could have seen the foul. This was either a genius play by LeBron, or just terrible luck for the Thunder.
Here’s the play:
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