KEVIN Durant fouled LeBron James three times in the final 1:12, including twice on a crucial drive with less than 30 seconds left, of the Golden State Warriors’ Christmas day win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report released Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
According to the report, the officials missed two foul calls on Durant as James drove to the basket with the less than 30 seconds remaining and the Cavs down 95-92. The Warriors star made forearm contact on James with 27 ticks to go that had an effect on the Cleveland gunner’s ‘speed, quickness, balance, rhythm.’ Two seconds later, Durant also made contact on James’ arm and body that altered the shot attempt and led to his shot getting blocked.
James would have been given two free throws to trim the gap to one if the right call was made, but referee Derrick Stafford’s call to award Cavs possession on that play got overturned after replay review, and the Warriors escaped with the win, 99-92.
The report also showed that Durant seemed to hip-check James with 1:12 to play, causing the four-time NBA MVP to lose possession, a non-call the Cavs star first questioned but eventually shrugged off.
“He fouled me twice. But whatever. What are you going to do about it?” James said after the game.
Durant, though, was not the only one who got away with critical non-calls. The report also pointed out that James also fouled Draymond Green with 33 seconds left after clamping the Warriors forward’s arm and grabbing the jersey on a rebound battle, but officials missed the call.