Being down 27 against the Warriors at halftime is a death sentence, but DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors slowed the bleeding enough to make the game close.
Stephen Curry returned from a two-game absence after spraining his ankle, and everyone in the arena felt his presence. He dropped 24 points on the night, and the Golden State Warriors shot a blistering 71.1 percent from the field for the first 24 minutes and poured 81 points on a seemingly helpless Toronto Raptors defense.
Toronto, who had won five of their first six games this month, counterpunched with a haymaker of their own and dominated one of the most elite defenses in the NBA. DeMar DeRozan has been scorching as of late — so much so that there’s an MVP candidacy not-so-quietly brewing. He dropped in 11 points in the third and then six in the fourth, giving him 42 for the contest.
The Raptors made the game particularly entertaining during the final frame. Toronto outscored Golden State 36-19, making big shot after big shot. With 3:54 left, Fred VanVleet buried a triple to cut the Warriors’ lead to one. A minute later, after the Dubs got back up by four, DeRozan dropped in a floater to reduce the deficit to two with less than three minutes to play.
DeMar DeRozan made another big play as the game clock neared one minute. He buried his second floater from three feet out, cutting the score to 123-122 in favor of Golden State. And then things got wild.
Officiating has been awful this year. Unfortunately, it gets worse at the end of the game.
With 45 seconds left, Stephen Curry attacked baseline and got blocked by Jakob Poeltl, who got whistled for the foul despite getting all ball. Yes, he did hit Curry’s body in the process, but that came after he blocked the shot. The two-time MVP got a reputation call. Steph, a 92 percent free throw shooter, stepped to the line… and missed both. The basketball never lies.
Toronto was down just one before Kevin Durant connected on a 22-footer. Another controversial call followed that basket.
C.J. Miles jacked up an awful attempt with 11 seconds left, and both teams floundered around trying to collect the loose ball. The officials whistled the play dead after the ball appeared to go out off of Curry, and they got together for a review. With much apprehension, the referees went to the replay screen. On the NBA’s website, this is the protocol that the officials are supposed to follow:
Since the 2009-10 season, referees have reviewed any out-of-bounds play that occurs in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and during overtime when they are not reasonably certain as to which player caused the ball to go out-of-bounds:
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).
In addition to determining which player caused the ball to go out-of-bounds, referees also look to confirm whether:
- The game clock expired before the ball went out-of-bounds or the amount of time to put on the clock,
- A 24-second violation occurred before the ball went out-of-bounds,
- An 8-second backcourt violation occurred before the ball went out of bounds, or
- Any unsportsmanlike acts or unnecessary contact occurred.
The play that was in question took a drastic turn. Curry did, in fact, cause the ball to bounce out of bounds. However, the officials noticed that the ball hit DeRozan’s leg before Curry touched it. DeRozan was out of bounds when it happened. Golden State got the ball.
“I thought you couldn’t even do that,” said DeMar DeRozan after the game. “I’m not even a referee, and I know that rule. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.”
- Zach LaVine made his debut with the Chicago Bulls after tearing his ACL almost a year ago! He dropped 14 points in 19 minutes.
- Kris Dunn also had an incredible game for the Bulls and finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals and three blocks. He became the fifth player in franchise history to have a game with a line that was at least 15-5-5-3-3.
- Andre Drummond recorded 21 points and 15 rebounds but it wasn’t enough, and the Detroit Pistons took the loss in Chicago.
LAL 107 – 101 DAL
SAC 105 – 126 LAC
OKC 101 – 91 CHA
BKN 113 – 119 WAS (OT)
GSW 127 – 125 TOR
DET 105 – 107 CHI
DEN 80 – 112 SAS
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