The goaltending call on Kris Humphries late in the fourth quarter that changed the Brooklyn Nets game is what myself, and every other fan of the Nets, cant get past while we watched in amazement as the Nets came back from a 15 point deficit at home in Brooklyn only to succumb to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Nets decided to spot the Thunder a big lead, allowing them to shoot 60.6 percent from the field, and then have to fight and claw their way back while the Thunder made an astounding 30 of 34 free throws.
The Thunder dominated the first half and built a 15 point league and were hitting every shot they took from every angle of the Herringbone court in Brooklyn and it wasn’t until a halftime speech by coach Avery Johnson that woke the sleeping Nets up.
The Nets came out in the third and won the quarter 38-29 to get back into the game and bring the Brooklyn crowd into a frenzy.
With the Nets trailing 90-86 going into the fourth quarter, Joe Johnson (4-for-14, only nine points) scored on an ten foot jumper with 2:14 remaining and on the ensuing play Kris Humphries was whistled for goaltending on a Kevin Durant layup with less then two minutes left and it changed everything!
The Thunder lead was four, 110-106 at the time, and the Nets could have then cut the lead to two or less and changed the entire complexity of the game but the officials decided otherwise.
“If it wasn’t (a clean block) it was as close as it could possibly be,” said Humphries, who finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. “I felt like I pushed it into the backboard. But once they call it one way, it’s like football, they’d have to overturn it.”
“I thought Humphries did a great job of coming over and getting that [block],” Johnson said. “I’ll have to look at it again… But boy, that was a big [call].”
The Thunder coach Scott Brooks did not mind the goaltending call at all as the momentum was in the Nets favor and it changed the game immensely.
”We made shots,” Brooks said. ”Some nights you’re going to make shots. You don’t anticipate shooting 60 percent in this league, there’s too many good defensive teams and they are a good defensive team. We both are and we both had trouble guarding each other tonight.”
I don’t use the theory of the “predetermined outcome” and maybe the Nets would not have come all the way back to win the game but I know they would have had one helluva chance to take the win without that bad call but we will never know because the officials decided otherwise.
John Paolantonio is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the Brooklyn Nets. Follow John on twitter @pingshoops and like his page on FaceBook for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.