With 20 seconds remaining in the New Orleans Pelicans-Golden State Warriors game, the referees made a questionable call that may could huge ramifications on the Western Conference playoff race.
With the game tied 100-100, Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans brought the ball up the court. As the Warriors’ Andre Iguodala pressured him at half-court, Evans tried to crossover to blow by him, but slipped.
The refs called a foul on Iguodala, sending Evans to the free throw line.
The replay showed there was very little contact.
Evans went to the free throw line and only hit one of his shots, but it changed the course of the game.
Stephen Curry missed a jumpshot on the Warriors’ next possession, and the Warriors were forced to foul Anthony Davis, who then hit both of his free throws to put the Pelicans up three. Curry missed the game-tying three-point attempt at the buzzer.
Before the foul, the Warriors, the best defensive team in the league, could have played the Pelicans straight up and hoped for a miss. Even if the Warriors missed a shot on their next possession, they still wouldn’t have had to foul Davis.
The win was huge for the Pelicans, who moved into eighth place in the Western Conference. The Thunder, meanwhile, got blown out by the suddenly dominant Spurs, and moved into ninth place — out of the playoffs.
The Pelicans are a half-game up on the Thunder in the standings, but they also own the tiebreaker if the two teams were to finish with the same record.
While the Pelicans have the tougher remaining schedule, the two teams are trending in opposite directions. The Thunder have lost six of their last seven games, while the Pelicans have won five of their last six and just beat the best team in the NBA.
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