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Thunder-Jazz have an instant classic marred by a traveshamockery

Apr 7, 2010, 12:52 AM EDT

It had everything. Everything except the ending.

The Jazz and Thunder played an overtime thriller Tuesday night, featuring an epic collapse by the Jazz, scintillating performances by Kevin Durant and Deron Williams, huge defensive plays, and in the end…

A no-call decided it.

It was a back and forth game for four quarters, but a late run sparked by C.J. Miles gave the Jazz an eleven point lead with three minutes remaining. Then Kevin Durant went off, nailing consecutive threes, including one I’m pretty sure may have been from the tabernacle. Then Durant blocked Carlos boozer, dished to Westbrook in transition, and the game was within one. Free throws led to a three point Jazz lead, and KD drew attention which led to a Jeff Green set three to tie. Deron Williams couldn’t close, and we had overtime.

Overtime was more of the same, and in the key possession, Deron got the important one to fall, off a beautiful pinch post. After Boozer misses a key free throw, Jazz lead by two. Thunder inbound, Durant catches, the defender clearly gets him on the arm as the ball goes short.

Silence from the officials. Roars from the crowd. Jazz win. (Welcome to Loud City has vid.)

Thunder could have won if they’d defended better, if Thabo Sefolosha wasn’t as overwhelmed by Deron Williams. If C.J. Miles had been managed. But in the end, after Kevin Garnett said Durant was Jordan-like with the calls he got, Durant got jobbed. And it’s a shame, because it truly was one of the better games of the season. These kinds of calls go against all teams from time to time, it’s just unfortunate to see a great performance from Durant and a great win for the Jazz overshadowed by this kind of blatant missed call. It’s bad when the Jazz announcers even say it was a foul.

The good news is that if things stay the same, we’ll get to see a full seven game series from these two in the playoffs. That would be something.

What say you? Foul, or no foul? Worthy of a call or worthy of a no-call? Should Durant get that call as a superstar, or was not bailing him out the right move?

  1. Henry - Apr 7, 2010 at 1:38 AM

    wtf, couldnt they easily check replays; it’s an obvious foul. It might or might not be true that durant gets other calls but this one, is obviously one, there’s not personal judgment on this one. Wtf happened.

  2. timmay - Apr 7, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    this site is so much lamer than pft

  3. neo - Apr 7, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Amazing game with a even more amazing missed call. The refs put there whistles away for one reason who are you more accountable too 20,000 rabid Jazz fans or a skinny should be MVP who is the best scorer in the game. I’ll go with the skinny kid and knowing he is a mellow ,good kid and make the fans happy.Classic with a horrible call at the end .Now if Lebron wins MVP over Durant that will make two missed calls .Peace !

  4. BigFatRob - Apr 7, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    I know they hesitate to blow the whistle at the end, but if that much contact on the shooting arm in the open court doesn’t merit a call, then what does? Can you pull a lead pipe out of your sock and club people with it so long as it’s the last few seconds and you’re up by 3 or less at home? It would honestly be forgivable earlier in the season or if the seeding were already set, but the officials knew full well exactly what the game meant in the course of the season, and they also knew what refusing to make the call meant in the course of the game. That call is too obvious and too important to go unmade. I’d admit that it could be hard to blow the whistle in front of a home crowd even when the call is that obvious, but if you are a professional basketball official, there’s no excuse. What are they paying you for? That arena is full of people who know the rules to this game, and I’m sure plenty of them could have swallowed the whistle just as effectively in that situation. If you’re profession is to apply rules that literally millions of people have known long enough that it’s second nature, then you’re supposed to be making your living by making the right call when it’s hard to do it.

  5. Vlade - Apr 7, 2010 at 3:43 AM

    Let me just say what Kobe says every time he knocks someone on their butt to end a game. ” No foul. No foul.” He always has a really stupid looking smirk on his face when he says that, too. The refs would have no business calling that one. Miles came in from the side, had his left hand at his own side, not on Durant, and his right hand brushed the bottom of the ball, and maybe, a small part of KD’s hand. Hand is part of the ball, afer all. Plus, the Jazz were robbed all night long. They were fouled countless times and couldn’t get a call all night, so it is only fitting that the boob KD got his. As sad as it is, it’s the way the NBA works. You have to take your lumps. Heaven knows, the Jazz are still taking theirs. That was a great no-call. Would have been a bigger shame to have had it the other way.
    Vlade

  6. jans - Apr 7, 2010 at 4:03 AM

    This is a tough, tough call………but in the end I think the correct one.
    The real question is whether C.J. Miles hit the ball first before hitting the forearm.
    If he did then at that moment he has they both have a right for their forearms to collide.
    If he did not hit the ball cleanly first………then it was just a case of the officials wanting to safely leave the Salt Lake area.

  7. donw - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    Wha, wha, wha!
    Durrant was protected all night long with phantom calls, then he
    doesn’t get bailed out on one call and the Thunder Fans start crying.
    How about the phantom call on Miles, in the lane, right at the end of regulation? I don’t hear you thunder fans crying about that BS call?
    Next time, make the play and earn it.

  8. John - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    First off, look how much higher durrant is than miles, miles never got ball, all he got was arm. That was a foul. That was a foul in my backyard,that was a foul on the playground, that was a foul at the rec center, that was a foul in high school, college, and the pros. That was a foul, it just never got called.
    Also lets not go crazy, Durrant is awesome. He is amazing. He is probably the most efficient offense scorer in the league. But there is no way, NO WAY, that he is the MVP over LBJ. Not a chance.

  9. rde - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:32 AM

    Really…I’m not a thunder fan, but watched the game. Start crying? The refs chose not to make an obvious call. He hit his arm and they saw it. It was a very sad finish. The refs changed the outcome.

  10. Jazz Fan - Apr 7, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    As a huge Jazz fan, I will be the first to admit that was a foul. I must say though, as with EVERY NBA basketball game, there were some key missed calls down the stretch that were missed on the Jazz side of the court. In a perfect world, every call would get called and there would be no controversy, but I do not think the refs changed the outcome or gave it away to the Jazz. The missed key calls all around. Overall, it was a terrible job by the refs on calling the game, not just the final shot.

  11. senator - Apr 7, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Come on, Jazz Fan. There’s a difference between missing a blocking foul in the 2nd quarter v. missing the game-deciding foul.

  12. Justin - Apr 7, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Senator no there isn’t if the blocking foul results in 2 points or 2 missed points and the other team loses by 1 that had the bad call against them it is no different than a bad call at the end of the game and the refs were calling way to many fouls in this game. Not to mention everyone except thunder/nuggets/dallas/pheonix fans would be complaining about how the game came down to a foul call and I’ve watched the replay in slow motion miles got ball first than hit Durant on the elbow and hand That is playoff basketball for you they will not call fouls like that unless it is Kobe or Lebron. It is a makeup call anyways for that ghost foul on Paul Millsap that cost the last game not to mention Durant cheating by putting his hand under the defenders and raising up which Kane Fitzgerald called a foul 2-3 times on three points that same game.(When a player does that it is supposed to be a offensive foul or a no call according to the NBA)

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