Scoot over Grinch, dang right I’m upset. Cowboys loss still stinging. Stubborn ice refusing to melt. And then, late last night, the Mavs getting robbed.
For the second time in as many weeks the Mavs built an 18-point lead on the road, then blew it in Atlanta and Oakland. Both times via last-second, kick-to-the-crotch jumpers by the home team. But last night’s game to the Warriors should’ve ended differently.
Better? Maybe. Differently? Definitely.
Steph Curry – for my money the best pure shooter in the NBA – put on a heroic display in the second half and down the stretch. His jumper, in which he pump-faked Shawn Marion to Mars, gave the Warriors a 95-93 with 1.9 seconds remaining.
Jubilation. Frenzy. Celebration. Um, live ball!
The Mavs were without a timeout. So, of course, they inbounded the ball to Jose Calderon. But at the other end of the court Curry was doing one of those goofy mid-air body bumps with a teammate. A teammate – Nemanja Nedovic – who left the bench and ran onto the court to party. By my count, even though Nedovic is merely an incessant towel-waving fan, that’s six Warriors on the court.
And that, my friends, is an automatic technical foul.
Nipicky? Yes. But here’s why. The technical would’ve resulted in a free throw for Dirk Nowitzki, who this year has a 93-percent likelihood of making it. That makes it 95-94. Even juicier, it gives the Mavs the ball on the sideline in the front court with more than a second remaining. More than enough time for an inbound pass, a dribble and a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Why were the Warriors celebrating prematurely? Why did the three officials swallow their whistles to such an obvious and an egregious rules violation? And could the Mavs have made two clutch shots to pull out an improbable win?
Unfortunately – and unjustly – we’ll never know.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.