Sunday, April 24th, 2011 at 11:14 am  |  55 responses

Video: Controversial Ending to Thunder-Nuggets Game 3

The Thunder and Nuggets fought to the final seconds last night, with OKC narrowly coming away with a victory. As the clock wound down, JR Smith missed what would’ve been a game-tying 3-pointer over James Harden, but, as you can tell from his reaction, Smith felt he was clearly fouled. Was he? You be the judge…

(h/t: @dailythunder)

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Max


  • Krisjanis


  • celts4ever

    good defence!!!!!!!!

  • http://360special.blogspot.com dev0

    just really, really good defense. Players take advantage of shooting into opponents too much, trying to draw a foul and really it’s just an easy way out of creating a good shot on your own. At this juncture of the game there is no way that should have been called a foul, good officiating.

  • Joey “Joe” Johnson, Jr.

    First of all, that was clearly a travel before the supposed foul. Second, like Burke said, he “was just in his space.” No foul. Smith was too little and couldn’t get a good shot off. Kicking your legs out and flailing around on the floor like a maniac doesn’t mean he was fouled.

  • Joey “Joe” Johnson, Jr.

    First of all, that was clearly a travel before the supposed foul. Second, like Burke said, he “was just in his space.” No foul. Smith was too little and couldn’t get a good shot off. Kicking your legs out and flailing around on the floor like a maniac doesn’t mean he was fouled.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    1) Good Defense
    2) When you are JR Smith, you are not likely to get the call.
    3) He would’ve missed at least 1 FT anyways.. =P

  • TheBarberShop

    Great defense.

  • http://twitter.com/pepemiwe PepeMiwe

    mmm no. but Nene fouled Westbrook for the rebound. :/

  • estoniandude

    Harden did a good job, not jumping and keeping his stand. But indeed Nene fouled Westbrook, so it should have been two freebies.

  • 3 wise men

    if you agree with dorris burke… then well.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    GREAT no-call.

  • JTaylor21

    That’s what you get for trying to be the hero. Dude should have passed the ball to Affalo after he picked up his dribble but that never would have happened in the age of hero ball.

  • dada

    Definitely a foul.

    JR did not jump into him. Instead, it was Harden who methodically slid up under him as he was going for the shot and got his shooting arm as he followed through (so really he fouled him twice). If that isnt a foul, then they might as well do away with fouls all-together in basketball.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ everything

    no foul but no travel either, joe jr. if you watch it closely he established his left foot as his pivot. jr tried to create space by moving his right foot to the right then got bodied up so he lost his balance a little bit so he stepped back with the same right foot. all the while his left pivot foot was planted on the ground. so no travel.

  • 2KInsider

    My favorite part of the game was when the Nuggets got called for offensive goal-tending during the fourth quarter. They couldn’t let that one slide after admittting they made a mistake in game 1?

  • http://www.lineofthenight.com Shannon Booher

    Harden moves his left hand DOWN hitting J.R.’s shooting elbow. Foul, all day every day.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    J.R. Smith knows that that wasn’t a foul. He was just trying to save face after taking the shot.
    The ref knew it, too. The ref knew that Smith was just talking sh1t.
    Besides, Smith doesn’t have enough status to get that call. Not that one.

  • Riggs

    @dada: you need to learn some more basketball. Harden didnt move his arms to interrupt the shot, also jr smith moved his pivot foot.

  • James C

    I think the real problem is that JR picked up his dribble.. for no reason. It wasn’t even a pump fake attempt. He brain farted and picked up his dribble way outside the 3 pt line. I was confused when he did it because I wasn’t sure what his plan was.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    Superstars get the calls, JR. Not troublemakers.

  • http://counterkicks.com Quinned

    i think anybody else would have passed to the open guy Afflalo

  • burnt_chicken

    That play reminds me as to why the NHL is the best league for officiating when it comes to the closing seconds of a playoff game: In pro hockey NO ONE EVER gets that call, no argument, no question.

  • Heals

    No foul, hey KrisJanis and Dada try calling that next time you play pickup…

  • toffeecrisp

    Watch the feet,

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Looked like a little bumpin’ and grindin’. Sometimes the refs let it go, sometimes they dont. Refs need to be constint and either call it ALL GAME, or not.. However, had that been Kobe on offense, they woulda called the foul.

  • http://dude Chukaz

    If you can call a foul on team B because team A ran a sh*tty play, than yes, it was clearly a foul…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Yeah he should have passed to Afflalo.. Sadly, no foul.

  • Marco

    this should never be a foul, I don’t like when shooters jump into defenders, a la kobe/wade/pierce. if the defender doesn’t invade the attacker’s cylinder, why the latter should be rewarded with free throws? just doesn’t make sense

  • robb

    wow, it’s difficult to say even after watching the play several times. I think the refs were right. And saying JR traveled before is just stupid.

  • John

    This is a foul dose not matter if the d is drapped all over him if he shoots and the defender makes contact with JR (on his right elbow during the shot, why the shot was short) its a foul. a foul is a foul no matter how much time id left or hoe the D is. Clear video evidence is here and on NBA.com in the highlights.Its a foul guys come on.

  • John

    Some please tell me how its not a foul during the shot he hit his elbow during the shot. Blow the whistle. The rest of you need to look at the right elbow during the shot.

  • Ansonpanson

    Foul. Harden hits his arm during the shot. Also kind of a blocking foul/body check

  • http://dillanleuyahoo.com Holy Baller

    #1, J.R. traveled. Watch closely. He moves both feet after he picks up the ball, which is obviously a travel.
    #2, No foul. Any contact was because J.R. was flailing all over the place because Harden was in his grill, not because Harden hit him. Also, I didn’t even see this “he hit his elbow” crap.
    #3, Nene absolutely mauls Westbrook on the block out. It shows Westbrook’s discipline that he didn’t punch him in the mouth. I sure wouldn’t have blamed him.

  • http://dillanleuyahoo.com Holy Baller

    Also upon watching it again, I want to say J.R. Smith is a punk and also a potty mouth.

  • http://www.iowsports.com/ Blue

    Yeah it was a foul, but if you’re not gonna call the travel before it then it was a good no call in my eyes. Also, I love how JR (while still pissed at the ref) gave dap to a young lady as he was leaving the court…

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Foul, if Kevin “Darling” Durant shoots that its a foul, Heck he has been getting calls, with less contact than that in the series. I am starting to hate the Thunder and KD star calls, he is so skinny you touch him he falls. Watching the Thunder/Nuggets series, is like the NBA knows the Nuggets have no superstar and want them finished. BOOK IT!!

  • Ryan Towell

    If that was kobe the whistle would have been blown, no doubt

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/other-ballers/international/2010/03/flight-75-dc-to-moscow/ Mitya

    nor a foul neither a travel – he doesn’t really move that pivot foot, it just slides a little as he shifts weight

  • John

    As soon as Harden puts his left arm up Jr shoots and his hand hits jr’s elbow watch at 55 seconds in the video it clearly shows the foul!!!

  • John

    Look at 51 seconds in the video Hardens left hand is on JR’s elbow during the shot

  • Josh

    Yeah that is a foul. I don’t care what anyone says, that is a foul.
    You can’t be in someones space like that, you have to give them room to go up and to come back down and Harden did not do that. Plus a tap on the arm during a shot is a foul, and there was definitely a tap. Should have been shooting three.

  • http://klatschendom.wordpress.com/ Speedy

    Hey Josh.
    Defending is not about giving space especially not after the ball is picked up.
    Jr should have created the space before. I mean he picks up the ball with the defender already in his face and thinks… I don’t know what he thinks.
    This was one of the worst plays with the game on the line.

  • ogog

    you cant walk into someone on defence, or thrust your midsection into them….you gotta be straight up

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    i’m not sure what people are seeing but harden clearly bumps him first, then walks into smith. i don’t like smith but that’s a foul for sure.

  • Krisjanis

    Okay, I watched the video three more times and that IS A FOUL. c’mon, girls, Durant would get those 3 free throws before the ball was thrown in the game, so it should be a foul. But I really don’t see a travel by JR. and btw, i’m not a Nuggets fan, I kinda like Thunder better than the Nuggets, but Durant irritates me.

  • http://klatschendom.wordpress.com/ Speedy

    I wouldn’t want Durant or Bryant get a foul for this too. Just good hard defense.
    And yes it’s a travel too. He moved both of his feet after picking the ball up.

  • underdog

    Good D.

  • http://Boom Aaron Laucke

    Great D

  • JAMS

    it is great D, but I have $20 saying that is called a a foul in the 1st quarter. The ref’s are inconsistant and this is just a play that if it was called a foul then OKC would have been just as pissed. I say JUMP BALL. aha

  • smoove

    thats neither here nor there, besides unless your kobe or lebron,the refs usually swallow their wistle in the final seconds of the game.

  • Charles

    No foul, great D Harden.

  • http://www.yougotdunkedon.com LilKDub503

    NO foul. But I agree with @JAMS, because in the first quarter it’s different. I think it shouldn’t be consistent throughout-a foul should be different in the first 47 minutes, while the last minute is different.

    Case in point: timeouts move the ball all the way down the court. Another case: second foul inside of two minutes. Another: inbound the ball into the backcourt (the Dwyane Wade rule).

    We can’t have guys getting fouled all willy nilly; otherwise, there’s a bigger problem with the refs trying to take over the game, and we hate that even more as fans.

  • http://wwww.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    harden fouled smith on his right arm.

  • Jedi