It had everything. Everything except the ending.
The Jazz and Thunder played an overtime thriller Tuesday night, featuring an epic collapse by the Jazz, scintillating performances by Kevin Durant and Deron Williams, huge defensive plays, and in the end…
A no-call decided it.
It was a back and forth game for four quarters, but a late run sparked by C.J. Miles gave the Jazz an eleven point lead with three minutes remaining. Then Kevin Durant went off, nailing consecutive threes, including one I’m pretty sure may have been from the tabernacle. Then Durant blocked Carlos boozer, dished to Westbrook in transition, and the game was within one. Free throws led to a three point Jazz lead, and KD drew attention which led to a Jeff Green set three to tie. Deron Williams couldn’t close, and we had overtime.
Overtime was more of the same, and in the key possession, Deron got the important one to fall, off a beautiful pinch post. After Boozer misses a key free throw, Jazz lead by two. Thunder inbound, Durant catches, the defender clearly gets him on the arm as the ball goes short.
Silence from the officials. Roars from the crowd. Jazz win. (Welcome to Loud City has vid.)
Thunder could have won if they’d defended better, if Thabo Sefolosha wasn’t as overwhelmed by Deron Williams. If C.J. Miles had been managed. But in the end, after Kevin Garnett said Durant was Jordan-like with the calls he got, Durant got jobbed. And it’s a shame, because it truly was one of the better games of the season. These kinds of calls go against all teams from time to time, it’s just unfortunate to see a great performance from Durant and a great win for the Jazz overshadowed by this kind of blatant missed call. It’s bad when the Jazz announcers even say it was a foul.
The good news is that if things stay the same, we’ll get to see a full seven game series from these two in the playoffs. That would be something.
What say you? Foul, or no foul? Worthy of a call or worthy of a no-call? Should Durant get that call as a superstar, or was not bailing him out the right move?