The Golden State Warriors seemed to be on their way to another comfortable, double-digit victory over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on the road on Friday — and then the game turned weird.
The Timberwolves rallied to take a fourth-quarter lead and it took a late rally by the Warriors just to force overtime, where Minnesota eventually prevailed 131-130, but not without controversy.
The game ended on a free throw by Karl-Anthony Towns, who was fouled by Kevin Durant trying to catch a lob to the rim off an out-of-bounds play.
With 0.5 seconds left in a tie game, KD is called for a foul that sends KAT to the line to win the game. Wow. pic.twitter.com/tpRub3Bttb— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 30, 2019
The game was tied only because on the previous possession, the Warriors should have had a chance to take the lead on a potential four-point play by Durant, who appeared to make a 3-pointer plus the foul at the top of the arc. But the referees ruled that Durant was fouled before he began the shooting motion.
So, on the next play, Stephen Curry shrugged and hit this ridiculous shot from the corner to tie the game before pointing at the ref who made the previous call:
It was all for naught, though as Durant’s hold on Towns cost the Warriors the game — a game that they might have won had the whistle been blown at the other end. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was understandably ticked, calling it a “four-point play in any league” and Kerr added that the lob Towns was trying to catch went “10 feet over the rim.”
Kerr on the late KD foul call: “You mean when the lob was going 10 feet over the rim? Never seen it.”— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 30, 2019
Kerr on the late waved off KD and 1: “That’s a 4-point play. Mind-boggling.” pic.twitter.com/3CeHi8NN75
Bad call or not, it is worth noting that these aren’t just meaningless games for the Warriors, though one could argue they are perfectly capable of turning on the engines when the playoffs come around. The loss dropped Golden State back into a tie with the Denver Nuggets for the top spot in the Western Conference, and is just the latest in a string of recent questionable losses for the superteam. Surely, a game against a sub-.500 Timberwolves team should have been a gimme for a Warriors squad at full strength.
With seven regular-season games to go, there surely is more drama atop the standings than we anticipated.
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