Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant reacts after not getting a foul call against the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter during Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City

Video: Controversial no-call as LeBron fouls Durant to end Game 2


It was a foul.

Watch it, LeBron James hooks Durant under the arm as Durant spins baseline. No call, Durant misses the shot that could have tied it. Miami goes on to win 100-96. (Hat tip to Eye on Basketball for the video.)

I need to add — that play is not where Oklahoma City lost the game. They lost it when they fell behind 18-2 to open the game and had to fight and claw and expend a lot of energy just to get back in it so there could even be a final shot that mattered. They lost the game shooting 5-for-20 in the first quarter. The Thunder can’t dig themselves holes to climb out of against a team with the talent Miami has.

“When you get down 17, too many things have to happen well for you and perfect for you,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after the game. “I give our guys credit that we did fight back, but we can’t afford to have… that’s two games in a row where in the first six minutes we’re down 10-12 points.”

Both Brooks and Durant avoided talking about this play after the game. They took the high road (and avoided fines from DAvid Stern).

That play mars what had been one exciting game and fourth quarter before that.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.