Du­rant de­fends refs in Two-Minute warn­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in Oakland, Cal­i­for­nia

Suc­cess­ful launch

Kevin Du­rant on Tues­day called on the NBA to toss out the Last Two-Minute Re­port be­cause he, like the league’s of­fi­cials, be­lieves it will make ref­er­ees more ten­ta­tive and re­sult in er­rors.

“They should get rid of it, refs don’t de­serve that. They’re try­ing their hard­est to get the plays right then you look at a play in slo-mo and say it’s wrong,” Du­rant said.

The Golden State star said it was un­fair “that you throw the refs un­der the bus af­ter the game, like it mat­ters. The game’s over, we’re mov­ing on.”

How­ever, there was no stew­ing by Du­rant and the War­riors af­ter the NBA ac­knowl­edged two missed calls late in the team’s one­point Christ­mas Day loss at Cleve­land. They lost that one all on their own.

“The refs didn’t lose us that game. We lost it. We could have been bet­ter,” Du­rant said.

“This hap­pened to be in our fa­vor — not even in our fa­vor, we don’t get the win.

“To say that I got fouled and the tech and all that stuff, just move on. You don’t have to throw the refs un­der the bus like that.”

In an NBA Fi­nals re­match, the cham­pion Cava­liers won 109-108. The NBA said on Mon­day that LeBron James should have re­ceived a tech­ni­cal for hang­ing on the rim with 1:43 to play and that Richard Jef­fer­son fouled Du­rant on the fi­nal play.

War­riors coach Steve Kerr called Sun­day’s of­fi­ci­at­ing crew “outstanding ... some of the NBA’s best.” He also said he ap­pre­ci­ates the league “be­ing trans­par­ent”.

“The of­fi­cials didn’t de­cide that game, we had a 14-point lead in the fourth quar­ter,” Kerr said.

The Na­tional Bas­ket­ball Ref­er­ees As­so­ci­a­tion has called for re­form of the Last Two-Minute Re­port be­cause it “will cause more harm than good for the of­fi­cials and the game”.

“We call for an end to L2M re­port­ing and other trans­parency mea­sures and a re­turn to pri­vate, league­m­an­aged eval­u­a­tions, re­views, ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing, and dis­ci­pline for NBA of­fi­cials,” added the refs’ union.

Du­rant is con­cerned how Sun­day’s crew might per­form in up­com­ing games given it was called out.

“So for the next game, that group of refs, who­ever it is, they’re go­ing to come out and they’re go­ing to ref the game, they’re go­ing to be tense when they’re reff­ing and they’re go­ing to try to get ev­ery play right and try to be per­fect with­out just go­ing out and re­lax­ing and mak­ing the right call,” he said.

“You fine us when we go out there and crit­i­cize them but then throw them un­der the bus for a two-minute re­port. What about the first quar­ter, what about the se­cond quar­ter, third quar­ter?”

Dray­mond Green also dis­missed the idea the War­riors were robbed at the end.

“If we do what we got to do it doesn’t come down to that Last Two Minute Re­port any- way,” Green said.

“Not that I care about that re­port or not. It’s kind of point­less. But it should have never got to that point.”

Mean­while, Green, who was hit with a tech­ni­cal for hang­ing on the rim against Utah last Tues­day and has been pe­nal­ized for ex­ces­sive cel­e­bra­tions, said he won’t do any­thing dif­fer­ently.

He picked up his team­lead­ing sev­enth tech­ni­cal on Sun­day when he em­phat­i­cally walked to the bench af­ter a foul call and yelled. Late last sea­son, he tried to cur­tail his Ts and cut down on ar­gu­ing.

“It is what it is. I’m go­ing to con­tinue to be me,” he said.

“Con­tinue to play my game and how­ever they’re go­ing to of­fi­ci­ate they’re go­ing to of­fi­ci­ate. I can’t change that. I worry about the things in life I can con­trol. Ev­ery­thing else that’s out of my con­trol, why stress over it?

“I don’t know what else I can watch. I don’t re­ally talk to them much any­more. Just con­tinue to be me. If I get a tech, so be it.”

Hous­ton Rockets guard James Har­den re­acts af­ter sink­ing a 3-pointer dur­ing the se­cond half of their NBA game against the Dal­las Mav­er­icks in Dal­las on Tues­day. Har­den scored 34 to help the Rockets win 123-107 and com­plete a four-game sea­son sweep of the Mav­er­icks. The game was marred by eight tech­ni­cal fouls.

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