The NBA announced Tuesday that Kevin Durant's basket with six seconds remaining in regulation Monday at Portland should not have counted. Durant was awarded two points when an official ruled that a blocked shot by LaMarcus Aldridge was goaltending.
“With the benefit of slow motion replay following the game, it has been determined that Aldridge made contact with the ball just before the ball hit the backboard,” the statement read. “Therefore, this should have been ruled a good block and goaltending was the incorrect call.”
The statement went on to clarify that referees are prohibited from using instant replay on goaltending calls, as determined by the NBA's Competition Committee.
WARRIORS COACH CALLS WESTBROOK ‘SPECIAL'
Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who ranks third on the NBA's all-time assists lists with 10,334, described Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook in one word before Tuesday night's game — special.
“He has the stuff that I dreamed about having,” Jackson said. “He's an incredible athlete, as good an athlete as this league has ever seen at the point guard position.”
Jackson went on to say Westbrook was “exceptional” and called him explosive.
“He's always in attack mode,” Jackson said. “He's a guy that stays in the gym and is not satisfied with where he is but determined to leave this game having left an impact. And it's refreshing to see young players with his mentality and his approach and his professionalism.”
CALM IN THE CLUTCH
With a 111-107 overtime win at Portland on Monday night, Oklahoma City improved to 5-1 in games decided by four points or less. Against the Blazers, the Thunder once again showed its ability to be mentally tough and overcome adversity to notch a hard-fought victory.
The Thunder forced overtime after overcoming an 18-6 fourth-quarter run the Blazers used take a six-point lead in the final 2 1/2 minutes of regulation. OKC then outscored Portland 8-4 in the overtime session, holding the Blazers to 1-for-9 shooting in the final five minutes.
“We were able to just keep battling,” said Nick Collison. “We've been pretty resilient these last few years, and it was another game where we just kept playing and good things happened for us.”
Said Kevin Durant: “We stay cool. We stay composed. We stay poised in those last minutes of the game.”
Thunder guard Royal Ivey, a Queens, N.Y., native, has been a lifelong fan of the New York Giants. So, naturally, he's spent the past two days yapping to anyone who will listen about his team's Super Bowl win, the Giants' second in five seasons.
“It's a good feeling,” Ivey said, still smiling. “In '07, they said we couldn't do it. And this year, they said it couldn't be done. But we went through the Green Bay Packers and we went through San Francisco and had a matchup with one of the better football teams in the New England Patriots and we got it done once again.”
Ivey has worn a shiny blue Giants jacket on every road trip this season and said he's on the verge of purchasing a few hats.
“I don't know if I'm going to put it away,” Ivey said of his jacket.
After undergoing nasal fracture surgery on Jan. 4, forward Ryan Reid said his recovery has gone according to schedule and his nose hasn't been bothersome. Reid continued wearing a protective face mask after being assigned to the Tulsa 66ers on Jan. 16 and appearing in eight games. … Former Thunder guard Nate Robinson, who signed with Golden State on Jan. 4, did not dress Tuesday because of a groin injury. … Entering Tuesday's game against Golden State, the Thunder had allowed 104.2 points per game in its past five road games. OKC was 3-2 in those games.
Warriors coach and former ABC and ESPN color commentator Mark Jackson on Blake Griffin's dunk on Kendrick Perkins — “We can dress it up all we want. But it was a thing of beauty. And I would have probably said, ‘Mama, there goes that man.'”
The Thunder will continue its five-game road trip on Thursday at Sacramento. It will be the first of four regular season meetings between the two teams. The Thunder swept last year's four-game series. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m.