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Video: Controversial no-call as LeBron fouls Durant to end Game 2

Jun 15, 2012, 1:15 AM EDT

It was a foul.

Watch it, LeBron James hooks Durant under the arm as Durant spins baseline. No call, Durant misses the shot that could have tied it. Miami goes on to win 100-96. (Hat tip to Eye on Basketball for the video.)

I need to add — that play is not where Oklahoma City lost the game. They lost it when they fell behind 18-2 to open the game and had to fight and claw and expend a lot of energy just to get back in it so there could even be a final shot that mattered. They lost the game shooting 5-for-20 in the first quarter. The Thunder can’t dig themselves holes to climb out of against a team with the talent Miami has.

“When you get down 17, too many things have to happen well for you and perfect for you,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after the game. “I give our guys credit that we did fight back, but we can’t afford to have… that’s two games in a row where in the first six minutes we’re down 10-12 points.”

Both Brooks and Durant avoided talking about this play after the game. They took the high road (and avoided fines from DAvid Stern).

That play mars what had been one exciting game and fourth quarter before that.

  1. caseybojangles - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    that’s great kurt…why don’t you put up the clip of durant charge that got called a block on battier as well? KD shouldn’t have even been in the game to make that last shot. KD got a star call at home…

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:54 AM

      Battier looked like a tackling dummy sliding out of nowhere and already falling backward, LOW BRIDGING Durant. STOP IT.

      • caseybojangles - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:07 AM

        PLEASE…durant should have fouled out on SEVERAL occasions…that one being the most obvious. basing your shoulda woulda coulda argument on one call is weak

      • sk1llz187 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:20 AM

        Feet was set kidd.. Go check the replay..

      • gmen4life33 - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        Feet werent set, kid. Defensive player must be set BEFORE offensive player “gathers” the ball. That doesnt mean jump, it means stops dribble to prepare for shot. Go back and look, Battier is clearly still sliding at that point. It was close, but it was the right call if you look at when Durant “gathered” the ball.

        Now the Lebron foul, there is no close/debate about it. It was a foul, but not a Rondo type miss call. Durant still has to make that shot.

        Non-foul call wasnt the reason OKC lost, but for MIA fans to start talking about correctly called blocking fouls as their argument is just stupid.

      • bloyaglock - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        Ya know….its obvious the majority of you, especially Mr.Wright has never been on a team and played organized basketball. You guys just dont get it….and you’re bias because almost all of you on here HATE LEBRON! lol…its a shame because he’s the best player in the world. Ring or NO Ring…. and the ring will be coming soon haters! The comments you people make are a direct reflection of your lack on knowledge when it comes to this sport. And it doensnt help KURT IS THE BIGGEST HATER OF THEM ALL ….HE STILL WANTS TO TALK ABOUT KOBE LMAO!!… GROW UP! DENIAL ISNT JUST A RIVER IN EGYPT!

    • duckman1234 - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Consult the rule book Durant was already in an upward offensive motion so it doesn’t matter if Battier’s feet were set or not it is supposed to be called as a blocking foul not a charge.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      It wasn’t a charge. You could maybe argue for a no-call but there is no way it was a charge you munch.

  2. divan22 - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Too bad. Battier drew a charge on Durant that was called a block, and that should’ve ended Durant’s night with 3:19 left. Spotty officiating goes both ways. Great game.

    • twizzle09 - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:48 AM

      To you and caseybojangles, That was clearly a block. Battier was clearly sliding his left foot while Durant was going up for the shot. Your feet have to be COMPLETELY set before the person goes up for the shot. Since you guys like to complain, please tell me why James and Wade barely get any fouls called on them. James has only fouled out like once in the last 3 or 4 years.. I cant even remember the last time Dwade fouled out.

      • caseybojangles - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        you misunderstand my point then. i complain only when others try to complain about reffing. i am perfectly fine with winning and losing the game AS CALLED (unless we are talking 2002 lakers kings game 6). but once one person whines about missed calls and bad calls then that opens up a whole what if this, what if that, woulda shoulda coulda…there are PLENTY of examples of questionable to terrible calls on both sides. the blocking example is one of them. james got called on late westbrook drive for an and 1 and he didn’t foul touch him. fisher got called on a foul on wade when both hit the deck for the ball and shouldn’t have. so what???? dissecting each call is dumb no matter who does it.

        bottom line is winning at OKC in this years playoffs was impossible up until last night. they are a fantastic team no doubt. but they didn’t play well enough to win last night. the heat didn’t play well enough to win game 1. in both instances, the losing team played only 3 quarters at best. the heat played 4, james attacked the paint relentlessly, wade showed up, bosh contributed heavily, battier is insane with his threes, chalmers is holding his own, and i’m sure the heat would like more quality minutes from others on the bench especially haslem but they ground it out last night and they deserve the win.

        move on…

      • duane888 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Rooting for the Heat or not shouldn’t matter. If you know anything about basketball, you would realize Wade and especially Lebron play sound and fundamental superior defense. Per the rules, getting your body in front of the defender is the way you do it.

        People that “reach in” to swipe at the ball and creat contact will get hit with fouls all day.

    • bearsrulepackdrool - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Well they called a charge for the rookie Cole when he drew it against one of the OKC players. I think Westbrook. If you call it once you have to be consistent and call it again. Cole was still sliding into place when he got hit. Yet, they called the charge.

      • md23rewlz - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        “You have to be consistent.” In a perfect world, yes. But in the NBA, where the entire game is fluid and literally no one play (both on the wider level of what teams as a whole are doing offensively/defensively, as well as on the level of player-to-player) is the same, that’s almost an impossible thing to ask. Especially without replay. Watching on our couches, we get the benefit of five replays on every play (more or less). The refs get the benefit of ZERO replays, and they are on the court in the thick of the action being asked to make calls on the fly in a game where everybody is huge, fast, and moves around constantly. And basketball is a game with near constant contact. I think that by and large, the refs actually do a very good job. There are missed calls, but through the course of the game and whole, they do the best they can in what is by far the hardest sport to referee. Football might have lots of moving parts, too, but football is nowhere near as fluid and constant in its movement as basketball.

  3. sk1llz187 - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    DURANT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FOULED OUT WHEN BATTIER DREW THAT CHARGE IN THE 4TH QUARTER!!!

    • gmen4life33 - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      wasnt a charge

  4. crazyfootballfun - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Lots of calls can go either way. this last one was not one of them. Refs have a duty to call even the great Lebron on a foul so dang obvious. All 3 missed it???

    • duane888 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      It’s easy to look at one call in slo-motion and say ‘wrong call’. But when you watch the play in regular speed, you don’t see much contact. Besides, there were many plays by both teams with alot more contact that also went as a no-call.

      Even Van Gundy calling the game said he didn’t see a foul, it was incidental contact.

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    … and the travel, no call.

    … and the bulloxed “goaltending” call.

    … and the charge that should have been, on offense against Harden.

    … and the two and ones that Russ should have had coming down the stretch.

    … shall I go on?

    • rodgersmvp - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:59 AM

      I think you’ve gone on enough, time for bed.

    • caseybojangles - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:03 AM

      no…you paint the picture perfectly…everyone should QUIT whining about calls, no calls, and bad calls. the only clear cut shit reffing is the 2002 lakers kings game 6…other than that, people need to give up dissecting one call. if this, if that, shoulda woulda coulda THROUGHOUT the game.

      • bougin89 - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:48 AM

        this is where I disagree. the officiating has been atrocious during these playoffs. I don’t think its fixed toward one team as much as the calls are so inconsistent its getting hard to watch. Both teams can make valid arguments about the officiating affecting the outcome of the game.

      • scalfor3 - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        lakers kings is only the most obvious case. the officiating in the nba is a huge problem

      • caseybojangles - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        @bougin89

        that’s fine…that’s what sports and the nature of loving sports and being a fan is. if you want to talk about a game or what ifs or this was great or that was crap, no problem. just know that there are TONS of variable that could have changed the outcome of any basketball game. there were ticky tack fouls called on KD early. tons of no calls when both sides drove to the basket. you can’t look at ONE call in isolation and say that team should have won. Reggie Miller pushing off Jordan for the game winning 3 in the ECF in 98. No call. What’s this??? Jordan pushing off on Byron Russell to get space for that iconic game winning shot in 98 Finals? No call. So what?

        if the talk is how we make reffing better, no problem. let’s make it better. let’s add refs or add additional situations where instant replay can be used. fine. no argument from me. but to whine about one specific no call and not recognize that there are tons of outcomes of any game if this or that was called? gimme a break.

  6. sk1llz187 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    NBA gotta make money!!.. Better for them if it goes game 7!!..

  7. angulocarlos1 - Jun 15, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Dam we lost…. I need to take more J’s…. I will go for 35 next game… – Westbrooke

  8. cantonbound13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    So fixed! Durant & Westbrook in early foul trouble? David Stern is the Vince McMahon of the NBA. Just hand LeBron the title Stern.

  9. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    If the roles are reversed, and it’s KD who got the “no-call” in that situation, none of you would be saying anything, except of course that LeBron choked.

    Great win against an amazing team with an amazing crowd. They make scoring look so easy and make the Heat’s scoring seem so difficult. This is an incredible challenge.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      ’72!!! How you doing buddy!!!! Where do you plan on watching Game 6? Join me at Tootsies, I’ll buy you a beer as we celebrat OKC’s first title.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 15, 2012 at 8:16 AM

        How sad your life must be. Sitting in a dark bar, ogling girls who want NOTHING to do with you, hoping and praying that a the Heat lose so that you feel better about yourself. And you’ll probably fork over at least $100 to do it. Thanks, but no thanks.

        Win or lose, I’ll be in my beautiful house watching the game with my beautiful wife and children.

      • gmen4life33 - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        Your wife is gross. I only banged her out of pitty. And FYI, your youngest child isnt yours….sorry

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Seriously? That’s the best you got? Grow up son.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 15, 2012 at 8:18 AM

      was that too harsh on CB13? Sorry about that. I’m sure you’re a great guy.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        Mayb I should have suggested a gay bar? Sorry if I offended you suggesting you might be straight.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Clearly not paying attention to the Jared Dudley/Grant Hill commercials are you?

        I just don’t need to sit in a sad strip joint in order to confirm my masculinity while watching large, fit, young men wearing tank tops and shorts bumping into each other over and over again.

        Back to basketball. You have to be impressed by the Heat’s winning one on OKC. The Thunder are freaking great. Huge win.

    • heat256 - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      CB13 is too young and broke to go to Tootsie’s. Doubt he’d know what to do with a woman anyways. Of course it’s sour grapes time when the Heat win. That’s how it is. Let’s overlook the charge Battier took that would have fouled Durant out earlier, negating their comeback and only focus on the ending. How about this Thunder Lovers: If your team would stop laying a huge turd at the beginning of these games maybe they wouldn’t need such a furious comeback to make it respectable. I’d start to be worried if I’m OKC: why is Westbrook jacking up shot after shot when KD is on the team? Was Allen Iverson’s soul put into his body?

      • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Just hand over your wallet at the door.

        Can’t deny that place is pretty “entertaining”..

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      Sorry 72. Totally uncalled for. I forget how sensitive you Heat fans are.

  10. omniusprime - Jun 15, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    It’s obvious the refs are going to “fix” the series for the Heatstroke to win. That obvious foul of Queen James on Durant at the end would never have been missed had the players been reversed. That’s why I’m not bothering to watch the NBA Finals, better stuff to watch on tv than that fixed series.

    • heat256 - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      So then we have your word you won’t post on here anymore, since the NBA is “fixed” and all that?

    • md23rewlz - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Ah, so you’re not bothering to watch the NBA Finals, but you are bothering to go onto an NBA blog, find a post, and judge the entire outcome of the series based on one call/non-call in a singular game that probably had around two-hundred possessions total. Thank you for your astute analysis of that one play of that game you did not watch, though.

  11. fdjlakers1 - Jun 15, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    I am NOT a LBJ fan! However, Miami would have probably won this game even if the foul had given Durant an opportunity to tie the game. Miami would have called a time out after his two shots, advancing the ball to half court with 7.1 seconds left to score a basket. A strong drive to the basket by James or DWade would have probably succeeded. OKC made a huge mistake by leaving 7.1 seconds on the clock.

  12. trollhammer20 - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    The NBA tilting the officiating so they have a better shot of extending the series to seven games?

    Next thing you’ll be telling me is the Pacquiao fight was rigged to ensure a very lucrative rematch.

    • lunasceiling - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      That’s a terrific analogy. Like the calls in the game last night, the decision in that fight was just a matter of bad performance by officials (judges in this case), not some sort of conspiracy.

  13. bucrightoff - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    OKC didn’t lose the game because of this no-call, so no crying about that. Regardless, I still cannot remember a time when NBA officiating has been worse than it is now. Literally the exact same call is called differently depending on situation. Take the Durant play with Battier (FTR, I think they got this one right, but its close). With the game close, its going to be called a block. If OKC or Miami was up by 15 or 20, it would be called a charge.

    Its beyond annoying as a fan to know that you can almost predict calls based on the score. There is no consistency to any of the calls, and all it is doing is continuing to fuel the conspiracy theories. I honestly think anywhere from 30-50% of fans watching NBA basketball do not think its completely on the up and up.

    • bougin89 - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      bucrightoff…I totally agree. It’s just so inconsistent on both teams throughout the games. It’s getting hard to watch. Both teams could make cases for the officiating affecting the outcome of the game and that is not good for the NBA.

      • duane888 - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        I actually like the way these 2 games have been called. The ref’s are letting the players play, and as a result both teams are going at it hard, making it an enjoyable series to watch.

        The Boston/Miami series was annoying, cuz the ref’s were whistle-happy and that helps make the game chippy. It causes players on both teams to complain.

  14. Louis Tumblin - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    The refs have not been at their best in the playoffs.

  15. bougin89 - Jun 15, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I can’t believe nobody is bringing up the obvious travel that James did after he got the rebound. I can see not calling the fould(even though it was a foul) because it probably wasn’t seen by the ref from his angle, but to compound that and not call the obvious travel on James was brutal officiating. It should have been OKC ball with 7.1 seconds left.

  16. leeann10 - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    I certainly agree that these playoff ganes (all of them) have definitely not had the best referees. Why not? These are the playoffs! Why isn’t extra attention given to unbiased referee selection and let the guys play? Durant and LeBron shouldn’t have to be nitpicked to death by a ref that has a giant ego. These would be great games if they called the fouls the same on both ends of the court. Referees should NOT be the deciding factor in a game, any game.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      18-2 in 1st quarter..

      I guess the refs also made OKC’s basket smaller. Those damn refs!!

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        The same first quarter Durant & Westbrook missed most of because they each had 2 fouls called on them?

  17. deshackle - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    What’s an acceptable amount of contact when a player drives to the basket? Therein lies the problem with the NBA. If Durant would have faked it, or flopped, he definitely would have got the call. He should’ve flailed his arms and screamed. That’s the way to get a call in the NBA.

    Bottom line he missed the shot, and when asked if he was fouled post-game he said he missed the shot.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      “Bottom line he missed the shot, and when asked if he was fouled post-game he said he missed the shot.”

      It’s called accountability. Very refreshing.

      I have a ton of respect for this team. They may be young, but they show a lot more class and composure then most other teams. (CELTICS) Westbrook and Perkins (Former Celtic) are the only players that are borderline.

  18. bearclo33 - Jun 15, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    I’d rather have no-calls like that all game long. LET THE BOYS PLAY. The foul that was called on Thabo Sef on Dwayne Wade in the 4th quarter was far worse and also a phantom call by the ref across the court. Thabo was nearly a foot away from contact The NBA would be far more entertaining if the refs swallowed their whistles and let the game be physical like it was in the 80s and early 90s. Basketball is by far my favorite sport, but the NBA has turned into field hockey with the ten second rule (i.e a whistle being blown every 10 seconds)

    • duane888 - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Finally, somebody with common sense. Let the players play and only call obvious fouls. The better team will prevail hands down.

  19. lunasceiling - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    That missed call wasn’t why OKC lost, and “Stern wants it to go seven” and other such conspiracy theory blather is complete nonsense…but that was still a horribly botched call. It could hardly have been more clearly a foul. Even Jeff Van Gundy agreed…causing me to briefly wonder what planet I was on.;

    • scalfor3 - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      hahah he needed to see the slo-mo replay about 10 times before he admitted that his precious lebron committed a foul

  20. mfiore123177 - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    my job allows me to travel the country—its funny to see how hated Lebron James is by every other fan base besides Miami—even people who dont like basketball think he is a punk—last nights game showed me 1 thing -only the Thunder can beat the Thunder—

    Lebrosch Wade? come on

    • duane888 - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      You may travel the country, but it’s clear you don’t know anything about basketball.

  21. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I told my friends that Durant would get two early fouls. They said “Nah, he’s home…they won’t call two early on him.” Well, the refs obviously got the call…keep Durant thinking about his fouls all game. And he did. This series is going 6 or 7. Once the series gets back to OKC, then the refs will start calling it even. But that game last night as a disgrace. The final straw was the horrible no-call on LeBron. That was the play of the game. I know Kurt wants to point to the 18-2 start. But the fact is that the assassin Durant would have been going to the line with a chance to TIE THE GAME and the refs swallowed their whistles.

    What a disgrace. Now watch…game 3 will be evenly called. And whoever wins game 3 will get no calls in game 4. And then if it is 2-2, game 5 will be evenly called. And then game 6 will be called for whoever is down 3-2.

    If you don’t believe that, then you love the NBA too much and are giving them too much of the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think they have a horse in this race. But I DO believe they will try to make this a 6 or 7 game series at all costs. And that includes a little reminder to the refs how to call the fouls before the game.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Man I hope the “script” lands us a championship!!!!

  22. sippindasyzurp - Jun 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    There are fouls that are not called all game in every NBA game… Great teams find a way to bounce back after these types of situations and lets be honest it is on OKC to not fall down by 15 points and play catch-up all game, and we wouldn’t even be talking about this play.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 15, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      The real problem is that no one man can guard LBJ…

      Sad but true.

  23. michflaguy - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    C’mon OKC…you’ve got a great team and a great fan base. Don’t start going all “whiner” on us now, Don’t model yourselves after the Celtics. It was a questionable no-call…but it wasn’t *that* bad. Refs often “let the players play” at the end of these games. There were a few times Durant committed what should have been his 6th foul that were *not* called either. You take the bad with the good when you are a championship level team…and you are in that caliber now. So act like you’ve been there before.

    • lyndseymarieee - Jun 16, 2012 at 1:02 AM

      Not to poke at you but that last statement bothers me.

      “So act like you’ve been there before.”

      When OKC fans DO act like they’ve been there before they get ragged on because they haven’t.

      Not sure what it is you people want.

  24. j0esixpack - Jun 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    As much as I love to rag on the officials, I’ve been seeing non-calls in the final seconds of NBA playoff games for 30 years.

    That’s a time when they more or less say anything goes.

    I’m not saying its right – I’m just saying they’ve done it that way for decades.

  25. md23rewlz - Jun 15, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Now I remember why I stopped clicking on entries that had anything to do with officiating. You know how they say you can call holding on almost every play in football if you want to? Yeah, well it’s the same sort of thing with the NBA. There’s just sooooooo much contact on every play. Complaining is pointless, especially about one play in a 48 minute game. It was a great game, and it wasn’t decided by that non-call. Durant is a grown man and that’s a shot he makes nine times out of ten. He’s taken contact on enough jumpers to know how to make them with somebody hanging on him. Give a player like Durant a little more credit. If he’s willing to sit up there and say, “I just missed it,” why are fans unwilling to say “it was a good game, I’m glad there was a comeback, sucks that he missed it, and if that exact play happens again next game, ball is probably going in because Durant is insane.”?

    Long story short, stop b*tching about the refs.

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