It might have been the craziest finish of the playoffs so far, which is saying something after the first round. The Thunder came back from a 13-point deficit with three minutes to play and a seven-point deficit with 43 seconds to play to snatch a 105-104 regulation win over a Clippers team that’s still in shock. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers blamed his team, but was more furious after the game with the refs, saying, “we were robbed.”
A quick recap so you know what Doc’s talking about.
With under 17 seconds to play, Kevin Durant hit a fast-break layup to cut the Clippers lead to 104-102. Chris Paul thought he was going to be fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass because there was less than 24 seconds left, but Russell Westbrook snatched the ball from him and passed it to a streaking Reggie Jackson heading towards the hoop. Jackson (who should have passed to either Russ or KD during that 3-on-1) instead attacked the rim and appeared to be fouled by Matt Barnes as the ball sailed out of bounds. But the refs missed the foul call, and awarded the ball to OKC with the play under review. Here’s the play from a multitude of angles, including this GIF by SB Nation:
Something to keep in mind when watching the play, which TNT mentioned last night is Rule No. 8 Section. IIC (page 30 of the regulations PDF), which states:
If a player has his hand in contact with the ball and an opponent hits the hand causing the ball to go out-of-bounds, the team whose player had his hand on the ball will retain possession.
That’s the reasoning behind the refs call to award OKC the ball even though it looks like Jackson was the last person to touch the ball before it went out of bounds. Doc did not agree, as you’ll see in his post-game presser, and said the replay reviews should be done away with if refs don’t read them accurately:
Did the refs rob the Clippers of the game?
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