Next time someone tries to tell you home court advantage doesn’t matter, remind them of this.
When Torrey Craig blocked DeMar DeRozan‘s driving shot attempt with :28 seconds left, the Spurs were down four points to the Nuggets and low on options. San Antonio’s only chance at that point was to play the foul game — send Denver to the free throw line, come down and take quick threes, and hope that could make up the difference.
Except the Spurs never fouled (see the video above). Denver played out the shot clock, took a Jamal Murray step-back three as the shot clock expired, and while San Antonio got the rebound there was not enough time to make a play. Game over.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich tried to get his team to foul, but the players could not hear him over the noise from the Nuggets crowd.
The Spurs odds of winning the game after that blocked shot were slim anyway. Denver almost certainly wins. Still, strange things happen in NBA games — particularly Game 7s — so play the foul game and take your chances. It’s surprising the Spurs players didn’t recognize that without being told.
It’s a rough way for the Spurs season to end.