- Bleacher Report / YouTube
- The referees missed a crucial out of bounds call against Kevin Durant during overtime of Thursday night’s tight contest between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
- Durant clearly stepped out of bounds while saving the ball and passing it out to Klay Thompson, who found a wide-open Stephen Curry on the perimeter to put Golden State ahead by two with 22.2 seconds remaining.
- Reigning MVP James Harden drilled a three with one second to go to win the game for the Rockets, but fans and NBA stars watching from home were still stunned by the referees’ blatant missed call against Durant.
- Check out the video of the missed call and NBA stars’ reactions below:
Referees missed a crucial out of bounds call against Kevin Durant that had the potential to affect the outcome during the Golden State Warriors’ face-off against the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
The Golden State Warriors led the Houston Rockets by a 17-point margin at the half, but the Rockets forced overtime thanks in large part to the awe-inspiring play of reigning MVP James Harden, who erupted for 44 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds on the night.
After four lead changes during the overtime period, the Warriors won a jump ball with 33.5 seconds on the clock and the game tied at 132. Durant had the ball stripped away as he drove to the basket but maneuvered along the baseline to save it to Klay Thompson, who found a wide-open Stephen Curry on the perimeter. Curry knocked down a jumper to put Golden State ahead by two with 22 seconds left.
Upon review, it was obvious that both of Durant’s feet were planted out of bounds when he passed the ball out to Thompson and that Curry’s go-ahead jumper should not have counted.
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
Harden ultimately sank the game-winning three with one second remaining, but just like the game commentators, many fans – including NBA stars watching from home – were hung up on the referees’ blantant missed call against Durant.
So we doin the #BirdBoxChallenge during NBA games now huh ????
— Chris Paul (@CP3) January 4, 2019
Lmao that’s laughable
— Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) January 4, 2019
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) January 4, 2019
That was crazy!
— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) January 4, 2019
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 4, 2019
Lmao how do you miss that??????????????????????????????
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 4, 2019
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey weighed in:
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) January 4, 2019
Durant himself may have been the only person on the planet who wasn’t surprised by the blatant missed call.
Kevin Durant knew he was way out of bounds on that late save, wasn’t surprised the call was missed: “The refs were missing a lot tonight.” pic.twitter.com/Ey0uJ7d42O
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 4, 2019
Referees can “only initiate a review on a called out-of-bounds play (for example, not one where an out-of-bounds might have occurred) and only those involving doubt as to which player caused the ball to go out (not those, for example, where a player stepped on the line),” according to the NBA Referee Instant Replay Trigger Outline, so they had no choice but to let the missed call go without correction.
Luckily, it wasn’t a call that decided the game.