THE smoke has hardly cleared after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ impressive 109-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors when the NBA announced that Richard Jefferson should have been called for a foul on Kevin Durant in the final play of the game.
This was according to the Last Two Minute Report released by the league on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) - one day after the thrilling rematch between two teams who have faced each other in the last two NBA Finals.
The Cavs took the lead after Kyrie Irving’s contested jumper that capped a comeback from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
With 3.4 seconds left in the game, the ball was inbounded to Durant who caught it before stumbling and eventually falling to the floor as time expired.
Slow motion replays revealed Durant’s right foot stepped on the defending Jefferson’s right foot. The NBA said it was an “Incorrect Non-Call.”
KD on the final play: "I fell. And I didn't fall on my own." pic.twitter.com/34H0ISaw7r
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 25, 2016
Durant also told The Undefeated's Marc Spears that the outcome would have been different if he wasn't forced to heave a hail-mary triple from the floor, but knew he wouldn't get the foul call at that crucial point of a road game against a heated rival.
"I would've made that shot if he didn't trip me up. But they ain’t calling it on him at their crib. It’s not his fault. It’s not the refs fault, either," he said.
Meanwhile, the same report also stated that LeBron James should have been called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim at the 1:43 mark.
In the ensuing play, Irving drove along the baseline before dishing off to James for a two-handed dunk followed by the celebration.