A lot went down in the final 13.5 seconds of Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Monday. There was the missed offensive foul on Oklahoma City’s Dion Waiters, there was the steal by San Antonio’s Danny Green, there was the missed three-pointer by Patty Mills, there was the scrum for the loose ball, and, in the end, there was a 98-97 victory for the Thunder.
Yes, it was a wild and hectic 13.5 seconds.
“It was incredible,” CBS Sports basketball analyst Wally Szczerbiak said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I didn’t stay up to see the play, but I watched it on highlight this morning, and I had never seen anything like it. The players didn’t even know how to answer the questions when they were asked the questions. I’ve never seen an in-bound passer make contact with a defender like that. Having said that, (Manu) Ginobili did step over the line. There was so much going on. Referees are conditioned to watch what’s kind of going on out on the floor and maybe not what’s going on with the in-bounder, just to make sure there’s no contact or anything like that. The fact that San Antonio ended up getting the steal and got a few good shots at the basket – just a crazy, crazy game.”
Szczerbiak is happy that this sequence occurred at the end of an NBA playoff game – as opposed to the end of an NCAA Tournament game.
“We’re lucky that’s not an NCAA Tournament game where the loser of that game goes home,” he said. “At least that’s just one game in a seven-game series that evens up the series – because then I don’t think the microscope and the spotlight is as much on the officials and on that call. Because down the stretch, there were a bunch of missed calls in that one particular play.”
Many Spurs fans – and perhaps even some Spurs – will blame the non-call on Waiters for the loss. Still, San Antonio missed 54 shots from the floor, including 17 three-pointers. The Spurs also had just 19 assists in Game 2, this after notching 39 in Game 1. That explains, in large part, why they scored 27 fewer points on Monday than they did on Saturday.
“Whether (the missed call on Waiters) cost San Antonio the game or not, that’s up for debate,” Szczerbiak said. “There’s a lot of things that could have been called, but at the same time, this series is 1-1, I think it’s going to be a dogfight going back to Oklahoma City, and I’m looking forward to Game 3.”
Game 3 is Friday in Oklahoma City at 9:30 p.m. ET.