IFWT_Westbrook Klay Kerr travel

In a shocking twist, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 108-102 during game 1 of the Western Conference Finals at the Oracle.  There was one controversial play during the final minute that left everyone reeling; Russell Westbrook wasn’t called for a clear travel.

With less than 25 seconds left and the Thunder leading 105-102, Westbrook pushed the ball up the court, Klay Thompson was in pursuit closely defending him.  Instead of giving the foul right away to stop the clock, Thompson stayed on Westbrook, applying pressure in hopes of getting a steal.  As Westbrook crossed halfcourt, he planted one foot and appeared to slide, moving the other foot two steps before calling timeout with 17.2 seconds left.

The play happened directly in front of Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who along with Thompson was screaming out for the travel call.  No call was given.  Following the timeout, Westbrook hit three free throws on Oklahoma City’s next two possessions to seal the win.

Here’s the original play:

Here’s the hilarious video made by Bleacher Report:

Of course following the game, NBA’s senior vice president of replay and referee operations said a traveling violation should’ve been called.  You can read his response here.

This is the third time in six games the NBA acknowledged that its referees blew a critical call during the closing minutes of a Thunder playoff victory.  Thunder benefited twice from incorrect no-calls in the final minute during their conference semifinals series win over the San Antonio Spurs. After Game 2, the league admitted that its officials failed to whistle Dion Waiters for a foul as he shoved Manu Ginobili during an inbounds play (that whole last play was crazy though). Following Game 5, the NBA admitted that its crew incorrectly assessed multiple foul calls that wound up favoring the Thunder.

Let the conspiracy theories begin.

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