The NBA’s “Last Two Minute Report” released on Tuesday evening determined that LeBron James was in fact fouled by Kevin Durant on two of his crucial drives to the basket in the final two minutes of regulation.
James asserted as much in his postgame comments from the locker room while Durant objected to James’ interpretation of the chain of events.
“I lost it on the left wing,” James said. “He got me a little bit, but I lost that one. But obviously the overturned one, he fouled me twice. But, whatever. What are you going to do about it?”
After the play, Durant was caught on camera mouthing, “He’s too big. He’s too big for that. That’s no foul.” Durant’s response questioned the triviality of the contact he’d made, rather than if he had fouled James.
“It felt clean. It’s probably the same play a bunch of those dudes on Twitter probably arguing about at 24 Hour Fitness that that wasn’t a foul. They’ve been in that position before, but just not on Christmas at the Oracle Arena,” Durant said. “So they know. They know if they ain’t call it it’s not a foul. I’m sure if they get that call next week at 24 Hour Fitness, they’re going to be pissed that they called a foul. So keep that shit on Twitter.”
Kevin Durant on the Twitter debate that his final defensive stand was a foul: “Keep that shit on Twitter” pic.twitter.com/CpJ0lyCnm5
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 25, 2017
The final 1:42 was rife with controversy and according to the “Two Minute Report, ” four calls were missed, including a trio of fouls by Durant and one on James. The first missed call occurred at the 1:12 mark when Durant engaged in body to body contact with James as he drove to the rim and interruped his speed, quickness, balance and rhythm. At that point, the Cavs still trailed by one.
James’ inclusion in the report as an offender was limited to his gripping on Draymond Green’s arm as he pursued a rebound with approximately 33 ticks left. In contrast to the missed Durant fouls, the reaction to this missed call was subdued. However, by impeding Green’s ability to retrieve an offensive rebound, the Cavs gained possession and led to the the controversial finish.
The ensuing possession was the most infamous sequence of the contest and the officiating report acknowledged that the refs missed not one, but two fouls by Durant. Durant’s contact to the body of James at the start the drive with his forearm and the shooting foul seen below were both vital missed calls.
— Randy Lee (@randella22) December 26, 2017
Ultimately, the confirmation of James’ no-call means nothing in the win-loss column. It simply adds more fuel to the fire that’s been burning between the Cavs and Warriors for four seasons.
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