The official Twitter account of NBA officials acknowledged a missed foul call that should have gone against the Golden State Warriors during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Though the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 122-103 on Sunday to take a 2-0 series lead, the play occurred with four minutes to play in the third quarter and the Cavs trailing 81-73.
LeBron James jumped to catch a pass just inside the Cavs’ 3-point line with Klay Thompson and Steph Curry trying to defend. As James came down with the ball, the two Warriors players seemed to stumble over one another, with Curry falling to the ground and undercutting James in the process. James stumbled across the baseline and out of bounds, but instead of a foul, a turnover on James was called.
James immediately began arguing for a foul, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue was assessed a technical foul for arguing the call and the Warriors outscored the Cavs 9-7 the rest of the quarter to carry a 90-80 lead into the fourth.
NBA officials said via Twitter, “We missed this one - it should have been a foul. The defensive player undercuts the offensive player, knocking him off balance. Unfortunately in this case the referee had a closed look at the point of contact.”
The admission comes on the heels of a pair of officiating controversies in Game 1. With 36.4 seconds left in the game and the Cavs up 104-102, a charge called on Kevin Durant was instead changed to a blocking foul on James after officials reviewed the play. Durant made both free throws to tie the game.
Then a day after the game, in its “Last Two Minute Report,” the league acknowledged Warriors forward Draymond Green should have been called for a foul on James with 12.1 seconds left and the Warriors only up a point. The NBA also said Green was guilty of a lane violation on a missed free throw by George Hill. JR Smith wound up with the ball but charged toward halfcourt.
Golden State won Game 1 in overtime, 124-114, and leads the best-of-seven series 2-0. Game 3 is Wednesday night in Cleveland.
—Field Level Media