The Warriors and Lakers turned their play-in game into an instant classic. The Lakers prevailed but the Warriors have more than a few questionable calls to stew over.
Both the Warriors and Lakers needed some of those chaotic variables to break their way in Wednesday night’s play-in tournament — bit players to hit big shots, health issues to be avoided, loose balls to bounce in their direction and definitely 50-50 calls to go in their favor. The Lakers got the biggest break of the game when LeBron’s shot-clock, buzzer-beating heave from the logo went down, providing the margin of victory. But throughout the game they also got the benefit of some calls that didn’t look great on instant replay.
Going into the game, Warriors’ fans had at least some reason to be worried about the officiating.
How badly did the refs ruin this game for the Golden State Warriors?
There were a slew of tough calls for the Warriors but we’ll just focus on a few. Here, Juan Toscano-Anderson was whistled for the charge even though LeBron is clearly moving and the official who made the call would need X-ray vision to peer through the body of Draymond Green and even see what was happening.
That one was at least overturned but it cost the Warriors a challenge that they could have used later in the game. Here, LeBron gets a mulligan on sloppy inbound, mid-turnover, for no apparent reason.
And then, of course, there’s Anthony Davis committing not one but two uncalled fouls on the final possession. First, shoving Jordan Poole as he curls around a screen and then mugging Stephen Curry as goes to receive the inbounds pass.
The first two fouls came earlier in the fourth quarter so we probably won’t hear anything else about them. As of this writing, the league has not yet released its Last Two Minute Report, which will offer a second look at the final possession for the Warriors. Those uncalled fouls on Davis will either be noted as incorrect or an inevitably unsatisfying explanation will be offered in their place.
Warriors’ fans have to feel frustrated at how the game ended, given that they easily could have won if a few different small things had broken their way.