Kerr baffled by ‘bizarre fouls’ at end of Warriors’ loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — Steve Kerr isn’t one to blame the referees after a loss. He came as close as he will allow himself to following the Warriors‘ 110-108 last-second defeat to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night at Chase Center.
“I thought the two fouls at the end were bizarre — bizarre fouls,” Kerr said.
Call him biased, say what you want but Kerr wasn’t just sticking up for his guys. He was talking about both sides. None of it made much sense to him, and it’s easy to see why.
With 9.2 seconds remaining and the scored tied at 107 apiece, Jordan Poole missed a step-back 3-pointer. Rookie Jonathan Kuminga made a great hustle play to get an offensive rebound, throw it up behind his head before falling out of bounds and the ball landed in Andrew Wiggins‘ hands. That’s where the start of this chaos ensued.
Wiggins caught the ball, but Spurs shooting guard Devin Vassell was called for a foul, sending Wiggins to the line for two free throws.
The first-time All-Star who has struggled mightily with his free throws nailed his first attempt, giving the Warriors a 108-107 lead with only three seconds left. Time for some more chaos.
Wiggins’ free-throw issues came back at the worst time possible, and after clanking his second attempt, center Kevon Looney was called for a foul on center Jakob Poeltl that looked like a ticky-tack call at best. Kerr was not happy with the whistle being blown, and likely had some words within that he couldn’t share on live TV.
“I was watching the play where Wiggs got fouled,” Kerr said. “… I was shocked by that one, and I was shocked by the one on the rebound. I don’t know how those calls can be made. To call fouls in that situation — both of them — one that went for us and one that went against us, I don’t understand.
“I don’t understand how we can decide the game based on plays that have nothing to do with the game. The players are supposed to decide the game and Wiggs had the ball and it’s up to him to create a little space and get out of traffic and make a game-winning play.
“And then on the last one, there’s a scramble for the ball. I got everybody in the locker room telling me they have no idea why Looney got called for the foul. He got tangled up. This is how every play goes. More than anything, the finish to me … I was shocked at the two fouls.”
Take a look for yourself.
Poetl went to the line and drained his first attempt. Here comes the third and final installment of 10 Seconds of Chaos. The Spurs center missed his second shot, a flying Dejounte Murray came out of nowhere to tip up the errant shot, which then landed in Keldon Johnson‘s hands and his putback off the glass gave the Spurs the lead, and the win, with only 0.3 seconds to go.
Even the always-calm Klay Thompson had some choice words for crew chief Ed Maloy after the loss.
“Two of our guys had it, kind of bumped each other and it fell right into their hands, and they were able to get up a shot right at the end,” Otto Porter Jr. said of Johnson’s putback. “Keldon got the rebound, put it up quick. Didn’t want to foul him, anything could have happened.
“Just an unfortunate bounce that went their way.”
That unfortunate bounce dropped the Warriors to 47-24 on the season, and only two games ahead of the No. 4-seeded Utah Jazz. Every bounce can make the biggest difference, especially as the Warriors begin life without Steph Curry for the time being.