NBA players often jump up in front of the rim and grab an opponent's shot that's headed for the basket when the play is dead. Russell Westbrook did it to the Denver Nuggets mascot twice on Jan. 20.
This is done so the opposing player doesn't get the satisfaction of seeing ball go through the hoop.
Kevin Durant potentially could have cost the Thunder the series opener Sunday when he snared Marc Gasol's 3-point attempt in front of the rim as the final buzzer sounded in OKC's 93-91 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Gasol's attempt came after time had expired, but not by much. In fact, game officials reviewed the play to confirm their final ruling of the game.
Had Gasol gotten the shot off in time, Durant could have been called for goaltending. If such was the case, Gasol would have been awarded a 3-pointer and OKC would have lost 94-93.
WHAT'S SO FUNNY?
Near the end of the first quarter, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said something to referee Bill Kennedy and he was about to blow his whistle for a timeout.
Whatever Brooks said made Kennedy stop dead in his tracks and laugh so hard he had to remove the whistle from his mouth before finally blowing it. During the timeout, Kennedy walked over to partners Scott Foster and John Goble, who also laughed.
What did Brooks say?
“I have no idea,” Brooks said, not recalling the incident.
The remaining schedule in this best-of-7 series was revealed Sunday night:
Game 2 – Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., Chesapeake Energy Arena on TNT
Game 3 – Saturday at 4 p.m., FedExForum on ESPN
Game 4 – Monday at 8:30 p.m., FedExForum on TNT
x-Game 5 – May 15, TBD, Chesapeake Energy Arena on TNT
x-Game 6 – May 17, TBD, FedExForum on ESPN
x-Game 7 – May 19, TBD, Chesapeake Energy Arena on TBD
Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin bounced back well from a 1 for 10 shooting night in Game 5 against Houston by scoring 25 in each of the next two games.
Center Kendrick Perkins is confident teammate Serge Ibaka, who was 1 for 10 from the floor in Game 1 against Memphis, will bounce back as the series continues.
“Serge is not going to ever shoot 1 for 10 again, I guarantee you that,” Perkins said. “We'll be all right.”
Ibaka, who finished fourth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (.573) during the regular season, missed his first seven shots before hitting on his eighth attempt, which came early in the third quarter.
TIME FOR THABEET
With Memphis' bigger lineup, Brooks changed his rotation to include 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet, the league tallest player who previously played for the Grizzlies.
Thabeet played less than five minutes in the first round against Houston, another of his former teams. He played 3:37 in Game 1 against the Grizzlies.
Brooks said he envisions playing time for Thabeet throughout the series, and potentially for Daniel Orton as well.
Early in the second quarter, Thunder reserve forward Nick Collison was called for a Flagrant I foul on Tayshaun Prince.
Prince went up with two hands and Collison fouled both arms. As Prince fell to the floor, Collison reached out to catch his fall. However, game officials were not swayed by Collison's attempt to soften Prince's landing and stuck with their initial call.
As the play was being reviewed, Memphis forward Zach Randolph walked up to midcourt and shook Collison's hand. Kennedy told Randolph to return to his own bench area.
BY JOHN ROHDE AND RYAN ABER