As if getting beaten by the Thunder in Game 1 at home wasn’t enough to get Oakland natives agitated, with roughly 18 seconds left in the fourth the officials missed an excruciatingly clear travel call on Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook, with Klay Thompson defending him, called a timeout as he was racing the ball up court. When Russ signaled, however, he had to turn around toward the official and as he turned, his right foot slid a good bit of distance. Needless to say, Golden State was irate, and the NBA’s Last Two Minutes report deemed that it was an incorrect no call. It stated, “Westbrook (OKC) turns toward the referee to request a timeout as he slides his pivot foot. The referee is focused on a possible take foul or timeout and misses the travel violation.”
Often, a single call won’t decide the game. This one, however, was about as close as it can get. If the travel were called, the Warriors would’ve gotten the ball back down three with about 17 seconds left, more than enough time for them to get up a game-tying shot. But, if it weren’t for Golden State’s second half implosion, they wouldn’t have been in that position.
As talked about in this morning’s recap of the game, the small ball lineup for the Warriors was shockingly ineffective, and they couldn’t get any shots to fall from three-point range in the second half, finishing 4/17.
It’s also worth noting that the L2M pointed out a second missed travel on Stephen Curry with 7.8 seconds left. The reigning MVP lifted and replanted his pivot foot before the final shot attempt.
The antics of the first game have started brewing a great series; expect the Warriors to come out with a bit of a chip on their shoulder in Game 2.