NBA Says Officials Missed Russell Westbrook’s Late Travel Violation
Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder shocked the Golden State Warriors on the road to win 108-102, but it did not come without a little controversy. The Thunder led by three points with 17 seconds left when Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook dribbled across mid-court and slid his pivot foot after stopping to call timeout. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was screaming for a travel violation, but instead the officials granted the timeout. Westbrook later was fouled and made one of two free throws to extend the Thunder lead to four points and make it a two possession game.
After the game, Joe Borgia, the NBA's Senior Vice President of Replays and Referee Operations admitted that his crew missed the call. "The officials, no one could get in a good position to see him drag that pivot foot," Borgia said in a postgame interview on NBA TV. "It's an unfortunate miss, but so much going on in the play, the speed of it, and officiating is about getting angles and sometimes you just can't get them, and they did not get a great angle on that play."
Despite the crucial missed call, the Warriors blew a 13-point halftime lead and arguably played one of their worst games of the season. Nobody will ever know if they could have tied the game if they were awarded the ball after Westbrook's travel. If there's one thing to take away from last night, it is that the Thunder will give the Warriors a much better series than many might have predicted.