Warriors

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant blast refs after Warriors' controversial loss

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant blast refs after Warriors' controversial loss

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."

[RELATED: KD goes on IG, calls out ref]

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."

Andrew Bogut explains how becoming father changed his life perspective

Andrew Bogut explains how becoming father changed his life perspective

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Andrew Bogut and his wife have two kids. The oldest is about 2 1/2 years old, and the youngest is about 9 months old.

That means the big man wasn't a father during his first run with the Warriors, which ended in July 2016 when he was traded to Dallas.

“Having two kids totally changed his life,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. “He’s no longer a cynic. He’s just as smart and wise and fun.

"He’s always been a really good dude.”

Bogut agrees that being a father has changed his outlook on life.

“If you do lose or play bad, you get to go home to two kids who don’t give a s--t about it, so it’s a pretty cool thing," Bogut explained to The Athletic. "You can get home from whatever you’re doing, and when you’ve got two kids and one of them s--ts themselves, and you’ve got to change the diaper, you kind of forget about all the bad things you’re going through.”

Speaking as somebody who became a father three months ago, this is absolutely correct.

Bogut -- who started five games during the regular season -- jumped center in Games 3 and 4 of the NBA playoff series against the Clippers in place of the injured DeMarcus Cousins:
Game 3 = eight points, 14 rebounds, five assists, steal, block
Game 4 = eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists

He's helping on the court and in the locker room, where he's respected by all.

[RELATEDBogut gives interesting response to Embiid's 3-1 Dubs joke]

“He’s still an a--hole, that ain't changed,” Kevon Looney told The Athletic, while smiling. “But he was always nice to his teammates, and he’s great to me. I say he’s probably the smartest, one of the smartest basketball players I ever played with.

"Him and Andre [Iguodala] and Draymond [Green], IQ level is crazy.”

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Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On the last day of the NBA's regular season, the following two things happened:
1) The Blazers -- who rested their top guys and only played six players -- erased a 28-point deficit and beat the Kings
2) The Nuggets -- who were down at home by 11 points with a little over three minutes left -- stormed back and beat the Wolves

As a result, Denver finished with the No. 2 seed and Portland with the No. 3 seed.

The main takeaway? The Rockets entered the playoffs at No. 4 seed, which meant a potential showdown with the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. It became impossible for there to be a rematch between Golden State and Houston in the West Finals.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey was recently a guest on The Bill Simmons Podcast and he was asked if potentially facing the Warriors one round earlier could actually be beneficial.

"It's very hard to know. We can't control it. To be frank, we don't spend a lot of time on it but we have talked about it internally," Morey said. "It could work in our favor but it's very hard to know.

"As much as we could get injured, so could they. All I know is that we pretty much knew we were gonna have to beat them, so does the order really matter? Probably not. It would have been nice to get homecourt like last year.

"I think that could be a big factor -- last year at Oracle, their fans are great -- I do think not having homecourt is a factor. I do think we're a better team going into the series. Maybe our odds are similar to last year.

"We do feel very strongly we have a real shot at it. But obviously, they're the champs three of the last four years for a reason."

Simmons followed up by saying: "I was looking at it more like from a health standpoint. The longer the playoffs go, and especially, you know Chris (Paul) has battled nagging injuries his entire career -- you just know that if you can get through this Utah series..."

"We are slightly older than them, so yeah it could work in our favor, yeah," Morey said.

[RELATEDBogut gives interesting response to Embiid's 3-1 Dubs joke]

The health variable is a very fair point. The Rockets currently are up three-games-to-none on the Jazz in their first-round series. And if they complete the sweep in Utah on Monday night, they will get a solid chunk of time to rest before a potential series against the Dubs starts this weekend (assuming the Warriors beat the Clippers in Game 5 on Wednesday).

The rematch seems inevitable at this point and the basketball world deserves both teams to be fully healthy.

Make it happen, Basketball Gods.

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