The Golden State Warriors hope to vent the frustration of what they considered to be poor officiating in their previous game when they visit the injury-plagued Orlando Magic on Thursday night.
Golden State has lost three in a row to begin a five-game swing. After disappointing themselves in losses at Charlotte and Detroit, the Warriors blamed the officials for Tuesday’s 116-109 defeat at Miami.
A key play in the close game occurred with 1:39 to play and Golden State trailing 112-109.
Warriors star Stephen Curry thought he was headed to the free-throw line for three shots when a foul was called on Jimmy Butler on a 3-point attempt. But after review, the refs overturned the call, awarding the ball to Miami, saying Butler’s contact came after he got a hand on the ball.
The ruling upset Curry.
“It’s an awful call,” he said after the game. “… It’s tough when I clearly felt a lot of contact. I don’t know what they saw beside the high-five contact (on Curry’s hand) they’re talking about, but you gotta be allowed to finish your motion. Especially when you slow it down in slo-mo, it’s pretty clear there’s a lot of contact, but what do I know about calls?”
The Warriors never scored again.
Asked about the officiating afterward, Golden State coach Steve Kerr chose to concentrate on three “discontinued dribble” infractions whistled on Jordan Poole.
“I was shocked because basically the whole league does that,” Kerr said of a violation otherwise known as carrying the ball. “They’ve been doing it ever since (former Philadelphia 76ers star) Allen Iverson convinced the referees that it wasn’t a carry. It is a carry. What Jordan does is a carry, but the whole league’s been doing it.”
Curry finished with a triple-double (23 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists), but it wasn’t enough to get the defending NBA champions their first road win of the season. They are now 0-4 away from home.
The Magic can relate. They fell to 0-6 on the road with a 116-108 loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Already without injured Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Jonathan Isaac and Moe Wagner, the Magic had hoped the return of Jalen Suggs against the Thunder could move the team in a healthier direction.
Playing for the first time since suffering a sprained right ankle in the second game of the season, Suggs was able to log 28 minutes off the bench, recording nine points and four assists.
But even before he entered the game, the Magic lost another front-line player when Terrence Ross bruised his left knee in the first quarter. He did not return and is questionable for the Golden State game.
Ross had been part of a lineup in which the Magic started all players 6-foot-7 or taller against the Thunder. The tallest of the group — 7-foot-2 Bol Bol — gave a thumbs-up to the look after recording a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double.
“It’s been extremely fun because we are all extremely talented,” Bol observed. “We’re all capable of making plays for each other, rebounding and blocking shots — and we can all push the ball. It’s very different for other teams.”
–Field Level Media