The NBA’s Christmas Day slate of games was highlighted by the mid-afternoon (or early afternoon, depending) Finals rematch between the Cavs and Warriors in Oakland.
The Warriors emerged victorious with a 99-92 win, but it didn’t come without controversy. Two of the key plays late in the fourth quarter were LeBron James turnovers on attempted drives against Kevin Durant. In both instances there was fairly significant contact that was not called as the ball eventually ended up out of bounds off of James on each play.
NBA Twitter was quick to rip the no-calls and poke a little fun at the fact that, of all people, LeBron was unable to get a call late in a game. Afterwards, Durant said he felt both plays were clean and told people complaining to “keep that sh*t on Twitter,” but as happens with every game, the NBA reviewed the tape and released their highly anticipated Last Two Minute report on Tuesday.
The verdict? The referees missed three fouls by Durant on those two plays (and one missed foul by LeBron on Draymond Green).
On the first play, the report notes the referees failed to call Durant for body contact with James. On the second play, Durant got away with two fouls, one for body contact at the beginning of the drive and then with contact to LeBron’s arm as he went up for the layup. LeBron got away with a loose ball foul where he grabbed Green’s arm on a late rebounding opportunity.
As always, people will look at the L2M in frustration, noting that this does nothing to help the Cavs now. Cleveland can point to this and say they were robbed of a chance to beat the Warriors on the road, while Golden State will not care and be happy with their win.