Warriors vs Rockets: The first game of the Rockets’ playoff rematch with the Warriors ended with no shortage of controversy. There were numerous occasions in which James Harden and Paul appeared to be fouled on 3-point attempts, only for no foul calls to actually be made.
None was bigger than Harden’s 3-point attempt with a little over nine seconds remaining in the game and the Rockets trailing 103-100. Draymond Green clearly made contact on the close-out on Harden’s attempt — except the league made it clear that was the correct non-call in their Last Two Minute Report.
What ensued prior to the ejection was a scramble for a loose ball on an offensive rebound attempt by Paul. After the referee ruled that the ball went out of bounds off of the Rockets, the veteran point guard made an aggressive run towards the aforementioned referee — and made physical contact with him in the process.
Paul was then assessed his second technical of the game and ejected.
Making things even harder to swallow for the Rockets is the fact that the NBA announced today that Stephen Curry should have fouled out with 1:10 remaining in the game after making contact with Harden on the latter player’s ruled turnover. Curry would, of course, go on to hit the biggest shot of the game, a 3-pointer with roughly 21 seconds remaining that gave the Warriors a commanding 103-98 lead.
While Paul’s checkbook will take a hit, the Rockets thankfully won’t be missing their starting point guard for Game 2 on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. Although the Rockets have yet to play a home game, they absolutely cannot afford to fall in a 2-0 hole against the defending NBA champions.
One thing is for certain — the Rockets will be hoping for a difference in officiating this time around.
After having issues with the officiating in Game 1 of their second-round series against the Warriors, the Rockets are likely displeased to see who is working Game 2 Tuesday.
The league announced Scott Foster, a 25-year veteran official, will be part of the four-official crew, which also features an alternate.
Foster has not worked a Houston game since Feb. 21, when James Harden fouled out in a 111-106 loss to the Lakers. After the contest, Harden called Foster, “just rude and arrogant” and said he shouldn’t officiate any more Rockets games because his treatment of the team is “personal.” He was fined for his comments.
After Sunday’s Game 1 loss, Harden said he wants a “fair chance” from the officials after some issues concerning potentially missed fouls against Golden State on Harden jump shots. Draymond Green said Harden has fouled defenders like himself on his jump shots.
Chris Paul was also fined for “reckless” contact with an official during the Game 1 loss. He was ejected late in the game after a controversial call.
In addition to all of this, it was reported on Monday that the Rockets talked with the league about 81 potentially missed calls from Game 7 of their 2018 Western conference finals series against the Warriors. The team claimed the missed calls prevented them from winning the title even though they also missed 27 consecutive threes in that same game.