Rockets vs. Warriors L2M Report Confirms Kevin Durant Was Out of Bounds in OT

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Rockets vs. Warriors L2M Report Confirms Kevin Durant Was Out of Bounds in OT
Houston Rockets' James Harden, left, guards Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Ben Margot/Associated Press

On Friday, the NBA league office released its last two-minute report of the Houston Rockets’ 135-134 overtime win against the Golden State Warriors from the previous night and noted the referees failed to call Warriors forward Kevin Durant out of bounds on a critical play with 30.9 seconds remaining in the extra frame:

Logan Murdock of the Mercury News provided a still image:

Durant’s save helped lead to a Stephen Curry bucket that gave the Warriors a 134-132 lead. However, Rockets guard James Harden hit a game-winning three-pointer with one second left to give his team the win.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic provided quotes from Durant regarding the play in addition to further thoughts on the officiating:

In fairness to the officials, the report reveals that they nailed every call (and no-call) from the 2:00 mark in the fourth quarter until there were 33.5 seconds left in overtime. Also, running up and down the court for 53 minutes and perfectly calling a game with playoff intensity is an impossible task to get 100 percent right.

However, the refs got two items wrong down the stretch in addition to the out-of-bounds play. Of note, a foul should have been called on Harden for making contact with Durant’s arm with 33.5 seconds left, and Curry should not have been called for a kicked-ball violation with 5.5 seconds remaining.

The no-call will likely be lost to history in the coming days save for some Bird Box memes that will stand the test of time as long as the Internet still exists.

But the bigger story is Harden’s performance and his ability to render the Durant play moot with his clutch three. In his past 12 games, he’s averaged 40.1 points while leading the Rockets to an 11-1 mark. Much of that production has come from the free-throw line, where Harden has spent more time than any other player in the league.

He knows better than any other NBA player what it’s like to get the benefit of a whistle, but if not for his late heroics, the Rockets could have been on the wrong end of the biggest missed call seen in some time.

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