My junior high school (and high school) coaches both said the same thing: If you don’t want the referees to decide a game late, play better earlier so it’s not in their hands.
Don’t try to tell the Golden State Warriors that today.
The Warriors didn’t play well all game, they had a wretched third quarter for example. Yet they were in it at the end and they were livid after the game at a couple of calls they felt cost them the game against the Timberwolves. Minnesota got the overtime win, 131-130.
The loss, combined with Denver beating Oklahoma City, drops the Warriors into a tie for first place in the West with the Nuggets. The teams face each other on Tuesday.
It started with the Warriors inbounding the ball down three with 5.8 seconds left in overtime. Kevin Durant got a shot at a three and hit it while fouled, but the referees ruled he was fouled before the act of shooting. Minnesota had a foul to give, so the Warriors took the ball out of bounds and it looked like Stephen Curry forced double-overtime anyway with an insane shot from the corner.
Notice how Curry taunts the referees about the call after hitting that three? Instant Karma’s going to get you…
On the next play, with 0.5 seconds left, Kevin Durant got called for a foul around the basket that sent Karl-Anthony Towns to the free throw line to win it.
While there was a little contact, that is not usually enough to draw a foul, especially with the game on the line. The officials were not letting the players decide this one.
After the game, the Warriors were all kinds of pissed off (and are willing to pay the fines for it). From NBC Sports Bay Area:
Durant called out Marat Kogut, the referee who waved off his late three (again via NBC Sports Bay Area).
“Marat, he was the best player on the floor tonight,” Durant said. “He’s so good with his whistle that he knew they were going to foul me and he called it right before I shot the ball, so he’s one of the greatest refs of all time.”
Durant will write the league a check for that. But he wasn’t done, he went on Instagram to complain about the call as well.
We’ll see how the league handles the fines, but the Warriors will be writing checks.