Ayesha Curry questions officiating after Warriors' Game 5 loss

Ball Don't Lie
Ayesha and Stephen Curry talk at the Andre Ward-Sullivan Barrera IBF Light Heavyweight bout at Oracle Arena on March 26, 2016. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ayesha and Stephen Curry talk at the Andre Ward-Sullivan Barrera IBF Light Heavyweight bout at Oracle Arena on March 26, 2016. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Monday was a disappointing evening for the Golden State Warriors and their fans. Given the chance to vanquish the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight year, this time in the friendly confines of Oracle Arena, the defending NBA champions couldn't get the job done, falling apart in the second half beneath a barrage of brilliant buckets from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving as Cleveland scored an impressive 112-97 win. The victory extended the 2016 NBA Finals, with Game 6 scheduled for Thursday night back in Cleveland.

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If you're looking to place blame for the Warriors' defeat, you've got a fair few options. You'd start, of course, with James and Irving, who combined to score or create a staggering 98 of the Cavs' 112 points in a historic shot-making performance to stave off elimination. You could point a finger at Draymond Green, the two-way linchpin of the Warriors' world-shaking attack, who might have had something to say about Cleveland's 53 percent shooting, 48 points in the paint and 28 fast-break points ... had he not been watching Game 5 from a luxury box at a baseball game because he struggles at times to control his impulses and his limbs.

You could arch an eyebrow at Harrison Barnes, who missed 12 of his 14 shots in a had-to-have-it-but-didn't-have-it performance that has to make a prospective restricted free agency suitor swallow a bit harder at his expected sticker price. You could even — gasp! — tsk-tsk the back-to-back and unanimous MVP, Stephen Curry, who went 4-for-13 from the field after halftime, failing to find the touch to fight fire with fire as Kyrie roasted him like he was a pair of Curry 2 Lows.

Steph's wife, Ayesha Curry, chose a different tack:

Who knew Ayesha was such a Reggie Jackson fan? Or maybe she's Team Gabrielle Union. Either way, Mrs. Curry doesn't appear to have been too big a fan of the way the whistle went in Game 5.

There were definitely some physical plays in Game 5, including a few that were reviewed to see if they constituted flagrant fouls before being downgraded to common calls. From here, though, it didn't seem like the refs leaned too hard one way or the other; the Warriors shot 26 free throws to Cleveland's 23, and were whistled for 21 personal fouls, one fewer than the Cavs. There has been some questionable officiating in this series — Game 4 comes to mind — but Monday's game didn't seem especially egregious in that regard. This seemed much more about two transcendent talents totally overwhelming an out-of-sorts defense with the kind of mastery we'll be talking about for years; honestly, until I saw Curry's tweet, I'd barely thought about the officiating outside those replay reviews.

For what it's worth, NBA referees are evaluated on an ongoing basis as part of the broader push for transparency undertaken when Commissioner Adam Silver instituted the publication of daily "last two minutes" reports that communicate whether refs were right or wrong to blow the whistle or keep it in their pockets on late-game plays. (Many have raised issues with the L2M reports, however, including but not limited to the fact that significant calls/non-calls often come outside the final two minutes, or in games where the score wasn't within five points at the two-minute mark. In fact, after some high-profile incidents this postseason, refs themselves now want the L2M reports gone.)

To answer the question, though: fines for individual officials are rarely publicized, but yes, they do happen. In 2009, referee Derrick Stafford (one of the three officials who worked Game 5, as luck would have it) received a two-game suspension and colleague Steve Javie got a $1,000 fine for separate run-ins with then-Miami Heat head coach Pat Riley. In 2009, referee Bill Kennedy was "docked an undisclosed amount" after an incident with then-Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.

As you might expect, though — especially after she threw some "high road" shade LeBron James' way as part of the ongoing war of words between the Warriors and Cavaliers following Green's suspension — Curry's comments were not received all that warmly by a number of fans ... and, as you might expect, they let her know that. Loudly.

That is a real bummer, and a reminder that social media can be kind of the worst. Fans' passions only figure to become more inflamed ahead of Game 6 back in Cleveland, for which Green will be back in the lineup ... though Andrew Bogut might not be after suffering a sprained left knee in the third quarter of Game 5.

Whoever's available, the Warriors will aim to eliminate the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena for the second straight season, while Cleveland be looking to fight off one more elimination game to give themselves a chance to go back to Oracle Arena and shock the world by knocking off the 73-win defending champs on the court where, heading into Monday, they were a combined 50-3 this season. Thursday ought to be a heck of a contest. However it turns out, here's hoping we don't wind up talking about officiating — or about talking about officiating — once it's over.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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