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NBA Determines No Foul on Kevin Durant in Spurs' Upset Victory over Suns

In the NBA's Last Two Minute report, officials confirmed that a non-call on a steal by Keldon Johnson from Kevin Durant was correct.

In the NBA's Last Two Minute report for Tuesday's game between the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs, officials concluded that the correct decision was made in not calling a foul on Keldon Johnson for stealing the ball from Kevin Durant late in the fourth quarter. According to the report, any contact that occurred was deemed incidental.

The play occurred when Johnson and Tre Jones trapped Durant near the corner. Johnson was able to steal the ball from Durant and drive to the basket, scoring over Josh Okogie with just 1.2 seconds left on the clock.

However, Lakers coach Frank Vogel contested the non-call, stating that Durant was fouled by Jones before Johnson came over. Vogel expressed his frustration with the referees' decision, acknowledging that Durant was hit on the arm before losing possession of the ball.

Despite the controversy, Vogel emphasized that the team's primary objective was to quickly inbound the ball to their reliable free throw shooter, hoping to secure the win. Unfortunately, their plan did not work out as intended.

The Suns and Spurs will face each other again on Thursday at Footprint Center, providing an opportunity for both teams to learn from Tuesday's game.

During the broadcast, TNT analyst Reggie Miller suggested that the Suns should have called a timeout to advance the ball to halfcourt, giving them more space to inbound the ball. Vogel confirmed that they had prepared for various scenarios and had a specific play designed for inbound situations. However, the referees' decision not to call a foul disrupted their plan, resulting in a turnover and ultimately leading to their loss.

Durant took responsibility for not holding onto the ball more securely, acknowledging that he needed to maintain possession in such crucial moments. Okogie, who was initially open underneath the basket, was unable to receive a pass from Durant due to the defensive pressure.

While it is common for fouls to be called in similar situations, the referees allowed the play to develop without intervening. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich explained that they had discussed double-teaming Durant to potentially force a turnover, rather than immediately resorting to fouling. This patient approach allowed Johnson to make the steal and complete the comeback victory for the Spurs.

Johnson, who had played alongside Durant on the USA's gold-winning team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, described his mindset during the play. He initially attempted to steal the ball but realized that Jones had Durant trapped in the corner. Johnson decided to make a play and take the risk, knowing that the worst outcome would be a foul and free throws for the Suns.

Durant acknowledged that he was aware of the trap but admitted that he should have held onto the ball more effectively.

Various players and coaches from both teams shared their perspectives on the non-call. Suns guard Grayson Allen expressed surprise that a foul was not called, while Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama highlighted the uncertainty surrounding the remaining time on the clock.

The Suns had led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter but were unable to maintain their advantage. Suns guard Eric Gordon attributed their loss to the Spurs' activity and aggressiveness in the final period.

In conclusion, the non-call on the steal by Keldon Johnson from Kevin Durant has sparked controversy and discussion among players, coaches, and fans. The outcome of the game has highlighted the importance of maintaining possession and executing game plans effectively in crucial moments. Both teams will have an opportunity to learn from this experience and make adjustments in their upcoming rematch.

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