AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — On the final play of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors thrilling Christmas Day showdown, Richard Jefferson fouled Golden State star Kevin Durant, who should’ve gone to the free throw line for a pair of shots to put the Warriors ahead — at least according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute report released late Monday evening.
The report — the league’s assessment of officiated events that occurred in the last two minutes of Sunday’s games within five points or less at the two-minute mark — includes all calls (whistles) and notable non-calls for both teams. It classifies the play as an incorrect non-call.
The explanation given in the report is that Jefferson made foot to foot contact with Durant that affected his ability to make a play. The NBA uses the acronym “SQBR,” which stands for speed, quickness, balance, rhythm.
“I fell and I didn’t fall on my own,” Durant said following the Warriors’ 109-108 loss.
“We all think we’re fouled on every play in every single game,” Jefferson said. “That’s why I say I know the referees have a very hard job. I switched to his body. I looked like he lost his balance. He was trying to regain his balance and as soon as I saw him start to stumble, I ran off. I ran off so it wasn’t look like I was trying to pressure him more, so he didn’t trip on my foot and it looked like I bumped him, nothing. It’s one of those things, plays can go either way.”
That wasn’t the only missed call by the trio of referees in the final two minutes either. After re-watching, the league has determined LeBron James should have been assessed a technical foul at the 1:43 mark of the fourth quarter for “deliberately hanging on the rim” after his thunderous dunk that gave Cleveland a 105-103 advantage.
The non-calls on Jefferson and James were the only two errors found by the league in the Last Two Minute report.