In a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, Houston and Golden State showcased once again why both teams are contenders this season. However, one controversial call from the officiating crew almost impacted the final result in overtime.
Kevin Durant tried to keep the Warriors’ possession alive with under one minute remaining, yet he clearly stepped out of bounds.
Although the play should have been blown dead, the refs thought Durant was somehow inbounds. This resulted in Steph Curry knocking down a jumper to give Golden State the lead in overtime.
Ultimately, the Rockets were able to win the game in the closing seconds because James Harden drilled the game-winning shot from beyond the arc. The reigning MVP was unstoppable in the game, finishing with 44 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds.
Nonetheless, Houston defeating Golden State shouldn’t erase the fact that officials need to be better in these situations.
Considering the history between the Rockets and the Warriors, these two sides could meet again in the postseason. With more at stake in a showdown of that magnitude, refs have to be sharp and avoid monumental mistakes.
Here was the missed call:
ICYMI: The refs missed Kevin Durant stepping out of bounds, which helped give the Warriors a lead with 30 seconds left in OT last night ? pic.twitter.com/7Kpu8AjHmV
— ESPN (@espn) January 4, 2019
Overall this botched call didn’t cost Houston the game, but it did have other NBA stars questioning the officials on Twitter.
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers led the charge on social media, as he was brutally honest in this tweet:
Lmao how do you miss that????????????
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 4, 2019
When two powerhouse teams play in an instant classic, the last thing fans want to see is a call influence the final score. Even though that didn’t happen last night at Oracle Arena, it’s bizarre that everyone but the refs saw that Durant was out of bounds.