A needless whistle negated what could have been one of the best plays of the NBA season.
In the fourth quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ win over the Toronto Raptors, with the Warriors up 108-94, Klay Thompson swatted Kyle Lowry’s shot off the backboard.
The Warriors tapped the ball out to Kevin Durant, who at half-court, fell down, and flicked the ball to Andre Iguodala. Iguodala then pulled off perhaps the most ridiculous alley-oop pass possible, jumping in the air, putting the ball through his legs, and then throwing it behind his back to Shaun Livingston, who dunked it.
Unfortunately, the play didn’t count because the refs called Raptors guard Cory Joseph for a foul as he tried to steal the ball from Durant as he fell down.
It’s hard not to wonder if the NBA’s findings in the “Last Two-Minute Report” for the Cavaliers-Warriors Christmas game had an effect on this. The report said Durant was fouled and should have gone to the free throw line after he fell down on the game’s final play. Durant later criticised the purpose of these reports, saying teams should move on from the games.
Still, with referees likely on alert to look for fouls on Durant, they called a foul, at half-court, with the Warriors up 14, and negated a great play.
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