MINNEAPOLIS — About 30 minutes after the Warriors’ 131-130 overtime loss to the Timberwolves, Kevin Durant was asked about his foul on Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns in the final second of Friday's game.
"You're just trying to get me fined," Durant said. "I'm not trying to get fined."
Then, like the rest of his teammates and his coach, Durant proceeded to criticize the officiating crew.
"Y'all seen the play," Durant said. "I want to keep my money because thay gave me two bulls*** technicals."
Following a 3-point shot from Steph Curry with 0.5 seconds left in overtime, referee Leon Wood called a foul on Durant as he defended Towns, who went up for an alley-oop pass on the ensuing play. Following the foul, Towns made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second so Golden State wouldn't have a chance at a second shot.
The finish capped a game in which the Warriors squandered a 19-point lead, committing eight of their game-high 14 turnovers in the third quarter, before rallying to force an extra session.
"I don't want to blame it just on that, but I mean, like I said, we deserved to play at least five more minutes of basketball," Durant said. "I'm not going to say we would have won the game — they had momentum going into the second overtime. I'm sure you guys would agree with me when I say we should be playing five more minutes."
Durant's late foul on Towns wasn't the only point of contention for Golden State. With four seconds left in overtime, Durant made a shot after being fouled by Keita Bates-Diop. However, referee Marat Kogut ruled that Durant was fouled before that shot, forcing the Warriors to take the ball out since the Wolves had a foul to give. Though Curry, who finished with 37 points, forced overtime with a 3-pointer on the next possession, Durant, like his teammates, wasn't satisfied with the result.
"If you look at the play ... [Bates-Diop] lost me for a quick second, and when I caught the ball, I knew they were going to foul, and I got it up quick and he had two hands on me as I was going into my shot and the [Kogut], he was the best player on the floor," Durant said. "He's so good with his whistle, he knew they were going to foul me before I shot the ball. So he's one of the greatest refs of all time."
Curry didn't hold back either.
"Nobody wants to see a game end like that," he added. "Crazy pass that had no chance of being caught, and a soft foul that should've never been called in the first place in a game like that. Guys out there fighting their ass off to play and compete and win the game by playing basketball, so that's a tough way to go out."
"It's a four-point play," coach Steve Kerr said. "I mean, I don't what else to say. Kind of mind boggling. You catch, you go up for a shot, you get fouled. In any league, that's a good bucket and a free throw. That's the NBA."
The game, like the final two quarters, had many ebbs and flows. After the Wolves outscored the Warriors 61-41 over a 22-minute span, Golden State went on a 6-0 run over the final two minutes, forcing overtime. In the final minute of overtime, Golden State again overcame a six-point deficit.
The contest wasn't without theatrics — after Curry's late overtime 3-pointer, the former NBA MVP and Andre Iguodala both mockingly pointed at Kogut. After the loss, Curry didn't believe his antics warranted reciprocation from the refs.
"If that's the case, that's indicative of the entire game and not officiating the game itself and letting emotions getting in the way or whatever, letting an agenda coming in," Curry said. "At the end of the day, it’s one of 82, it's not going to get overblown that much, but we should've been way ahead in the second half, but again, let the game decide, and that's what's unfortunate."
Earlier in the game, Draymond Green was assessed his 15th technical of the season. His next technical foul will trigger a one-game suspension.
"The fact that Draymond got a tech for saying, 'Oh, we can't talk to y'all tonight?' is kind of embarrassing in terms of we're supposed to have that communication," Curry added. "Nobody is being demonstrative or disrespectful in that sense. In this league, there's going to be back and forth and chatter and emotions and high-intensity competition. As long as you're not cussing somebody out, being disrespectful, that communication should be there."
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A minute before he walked out of his media availability, with a four-hour flight back to the Bay Area awaiting, Curry was asked which of the calls from Friday's referee crew was the worst. With a fine from the league almost certainly confirmed, the guard released a parting shot to Kogut.
"You have to ask the MVP of tonight, Mark Kogut."