The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors 98-96 in Oakland on Thursday night, taking a 2-1 series lead in controversial fashion.
On the final play of the game, Stephen Curry air-balled a 3-pointer that would have won the game as time expired.
The Warriors think he got fouled by Chris Paul. The Clippers point guard seemed to have his right arm on Curry’s waist, and he appeared to impede Curry’s ability to land.
Notice the contact on the lower body:
Warriors coach Mark Jackson told Sam Amick of USA Today that he thought it was a foul, saying, “You’re supposed to be able to come down… I’m not looking for an apology tomorrow though.”
Under NBA rules a defender has to allow a jump shooter to land safely after the shot. Jackson is saying Paul undercut Curry.
Curry said it was a “50-50 call” that should have gone his way.
“I thought I initiated enough contact. That’s my go-to move, the step-back. I’m not going to air-ball that,” he told the AP.
It’s certainly close. In these sorts of end-of-game situations the defender tends to get the benefit of a doubt because the referee doesn’t want to be perceived as deciding the game. It probably isn’t fair, but it’s how NBA games are called.
The full video:
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