If the Suns had prevailed in Game 4, the NBA Finals would been completely altered and the instant outrage would have spilled over for days.
When Devin Booker had five fouls in Game 4 against the Bucks – one more would have removed him from the game – the referees missed an obvious call against the star guard. Booker attempted to disrupt a layup attempt from Bucks guard Jrue Holiday. Booker blatantly reached in and clearly fouled his opponent late in the fourth quarter, but the officials decided to let the violation go.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know,” Holiday said when asked about the non-call.
Added referee James Capers after the game. “During live play, I saw a clean sweep of the ball and thought it was a no call. However, after seeing the replay, I now realize that I missed Booker’s right arm around the waist of Holiday, and it should have been a defensive foul on the play.”
This moment nearly changed the NBA Finals, as Booker – who led all players with 42 points on 17-for-28 shooting – was able to continue in the game. Nonetheless, courtesy of a brilliant and critical block from Giannis Antetokounmpo – who thought “[he] was going to get dunked on, to be honest” – and some big shots by Khris Middleton the Bucks held on for a 109-103 win to tie the series 2-2.
“Going down the stretch, we kept believing in ourselves. We kept executing,” Antetokounmpo said. “We wanted this bad, and the team showed it tonight. But we got to keep getting better.”
NBA players and reporters took to Twitter to share their feelings on the missed call.
Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Finals will take place in Phoenix Saturday night at 9 p.m. The home team has won each of the first four games in the series.
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