Controversy was the theme at the Oracle Arena as the Golden State Warriors lost 98-96 to the Los Angeles Clippers, despite Chris Paul seemingly fouling Stephen Curry on the final play.
The All-Stars went at it as Curry received the ball at the top of the three point line with eight seconds remaining in the game. He dribbled to his left with Paul glued to him, but a step back dribble afforded him a slither of space to get up a jumper at the death. However CP3 was able to recover and challenge the shot which fell way short of the mark.
Golden State fans cried foul but the referees refused to blow the whistle even though he seemingly undercut Curry, as he went up for what he believed to be a potential game winning three – replays showed his foot was touching the line.
“It was a 50-50 call but I thought it should have gone my way," said the Warriors leading scorer. “Obviously it didn’t and there’s nothing we can do about it now. It’s definitely a frustrating way to end the game.”
His Head Coach, Mark Jackson, agreed as he sarcastically answered when asked for his verdict.
“I thought the last close-out was the best close-out of the game,” he said. “Steph was looking to turn the corner, Chris [Paul] did a good job putting his hands on him, and then when he was going up for the shot, I mean, you’re supposed to be able to land. Clearly he wasn’t able to.”
His opposite number though, wasn’t convinced.
“I thought it was great play, said Doc Rivers. “I thought Steph [Curry] jumped up into him to try and draw the foul and I don’t think the refs are going to bail anyone out on that play.”
Looking at the video above and taking into account the “Points of Emphasis” video released by the NBA prior to the Playoffs, you would have to agree with the Warriors on this one. The video states that the defender must “give the shooter the opportunity to land cleanly,” which Paul didn’t do as he slide into Curry.
Either way, what’s done is done and the Clippers are now 2-1 up in the best of seven series with Game Four coming this Sunday.
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