The Thunder’s season is over, and not without some controversy. Utah defeated Oklahoma City 96–91 to advance to the second round Friday night, but Thunder fans may have a legitimate gripe about a non-foul call on a potential game-tying three. Trailing 94–91, Paul George pump faked at the top of the key before launching a three-point attempt. The fake drew Rudy Gobert into the air, and the Jazz center clearly made contact with George as he rose to shoot.
Referees decided not to blow the whistle on the play. You can decide for yourself if a foul should have been called.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan commented on the play after the game, saying he would have liked to see George at the line.
Referee Ron Garretson, however, believes his staff made the right call.
"Rudy Gobert jumped to the right of Paul George," Garretson said. "Our determination was Rudy would not have made contact with Paul had he not jumped sideways into Gobert’s legal space. We determined this to be a non-call."
The Jazz have now made it to the second round for the second straight season. Meanwhile, the Thunder have been eliminated in the first round for two straight years. Carmelo Anthony, who was absent for much of the fourth quarter, has a player option for next season. So does George, though he is expected to test free agency.
Utah will face Houston in Round 2.