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NBA Admits Referees Missed Call at the End of Thunder-Jazz

Apr 8, 2010 – 1:55 AM
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Brett Pollakoff

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At the end of the Thunder's overtime loss to the Jazz on Tuesday, Kevin Durant went up for a three-point attempt with just over a second remaining in overtime, and with his team trailing by one. The shot would have been the game-winner had it gone in, but it ended up falling far short, and didn't even draw iron. The problem was that, as the video replay clearly shows, Durant didn't have the chance to get the shot off cleanly thanks to the solid contact to his right forearm that was made by Utah's C.J. Miles.

It was an obvious foul call that should have been made, but, as is often the case in game-deciding plays, it was a situation that the officials decided to simply stay out of. Well, the NBA reviewed the play, and issued a statement the day after admitting that yes, a foul should have been called. The quote from Joel Litvin, NBA President, League and Basketball Operations, read as follows:

"On the final play of last night's Oklahoma City-Utah game, the officials missed a foul committed by the Jazz's C.J. Miles on the Thunder's Kevin Durant during a three-point shot attempt."

Now of course, it's nice that the league owned up to this mistake on a higher level, but I'm sure the fans and the organization in Oklahoma City aren't feeling truly vindicated here. After all, the loss still stands, and admitting that the foul should have been called probably only pours salt in the wound.

On the other hand, this may have more of an important, long-lasting effect on the way the officials treat the young Thunder as they prepare for their first journey into the postseason.

The assertion has been made that it will be difficult for Oklahoma City to advance in the playoffs because they won't be getting the benefit of the close calls from the referees. Now that the league has come out publicly to acknowledge the error in this department, going forward, that's probably less likely to be the case.
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