We knew it looked ugly, but damn.
The NBA released its Last 2 Minute Report reviewing the referees calls from the final two minutes of the Thunder’s overtime win against the Trail Blazers Thursday night — a game with serious playoff implications — and it found five officiating errors in the final minute of play. The NBA has worked hard to be more transparent, and not only is that a good thing but it has shown the refs get stuff right far more than wrong, but this game was a tough one.
Calls were missed on both sides, so Portland fans spare us from “the refs cost us the game” stuff. It’s never just one thing. You want to win? Don’t give up 70 points in the paint.
Here are the five missed calls:
0:57: Paul George has the ball legally stripped from him, but Jusuf Nurkic has already committed to the air to block the shot when George regains possession. Nurkic fouled George with his body but there was no call. George passed to Steven Adams for a dunk.
0:26: Paul George had taken a three that missed, and in the battle for a rebound Damian Lillard put a forearm in the back of Russell Westbrook and pushed him out of the play. There was no call but should have been one on Lillard. OKC’s Jerami Grant got the offensive rebound and the Thunder set up for another play.
0:16.8: The one Blazers fans were livid about — Paul George should have been called for an offensive foul for his elbow to the face of Jusuf Nurkic. (Was it a flagrant foul? Former official Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s Director of Referee Development, said on ESPN’s The Jump that it could be considered for one but he didn’t think it deserved that harsh a call.)
0:7.7: Damian Lillard goes into the back court to collect an inbounds pass then attacks downhill and there are two missed calls on the play.
Adams should have been called for a foul for contacting the arm of Lillard on the shot.
Nurkic should have been called for offensive goaltending for contacting the rim while the ball was on it.
0:4.5: Double technicals to Paul George and Jusuf Nurkic after they get into it a little after a foul on Nurkic. This is deemed a correct call — and it is. Nurkic went with the mini-headbutt, that’s a tech every time. It was Nurkic’s second technical and he was ejected. Nobody should argue the second technical, whether he deserved the first one is the more interesting question (and not part of the public league review because it was in the first half).