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NBA Finals remote patrol: ABC's Jeff Van Gundy, Michael Wilbon say Kevin Durant fouled on key play

Television camera catches LeBron James fouling Kevin Durant with seven seconds remaining.
by Mel Bracht Published: June 15, 2012

ABC's camera behind the basket captured the crucial play of the game: LeBron James fouling Kevin Durant as he missed a short jumper with Oklahoma City trailing 98-96 with seven seconds remaining.

“At that angle, there is no question it was a foul,” game analyst Jeff Van Gundy said.

Several of the ABC studio analysts agreed. “It was a foul,” Michael Wilbon said. “Once, twice, that's a foul, period. Go to the line. Should have been shooting two.”

Magic Johnson said: “It definitely was a foul. But at the end of the day this is what happens when you're not the aggressive team, and when you don't set the tone for the game, you don't get the call... They didn't lose the game on the foul. They lost the game in the first quarter.”

The definitive comments came from former referee Steve Javie, who called two NBA Finals game last year before retiring with a bad knee. Javie noted the official was out of position to make the call.

“He didn't have the right angle to see the foul,” Javie said. “He was looking at Kevin Durant's left shoulder where LeBron fouled him on the right side. … Nobody feels worse then the official himself. The officials did a wonderful job tonight. Unfortunately, this play at the end happened.”

ABC's cameras again didn't miss a shot as the Heat collected what Wilbon called its biggest playoff victory ever.

Johnson applauded James for a strong fourth quarter. “LeBron dominated and he finally closed,” he said. “This was good for him.”

Westbrook bashed

At halftime, Johnson blasted Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook with all his guns blazing.

“That was the worst point guard performance in a championship finals I've ever seen,” Johnson said. “He was too wild. He was taking off-balance shots. You got to come out and set the tone with Kevin Durant.”

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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