Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dion Waiters’ arm wasn’t the only one in play during Monday night’s playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs.
As Waiters prepared to inbound the ball with 13 seconds left in the game, he extended his arm to foul Manu Ginobili, who was defending the pass. Shortly thereafter, with two seconds left in the game, Spurs guard Patty Mills attempted a 3-pointer that could have won it for San Antonio. OKC’s Steven Adams jumped to block Mills’s shot and came down out of bounds. As he tried to get back on the court, it appeared he was restrained by a fan who grabbed his arm and wouldn’t let go, as San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge battled OKC defenders for the loose ball. Time expired, and the Thunder defeated the Spurs 98-97 to tie the series 1-1.
It was a wild finish. No one had ever seen the passer foul his defender on an inbound pass. Waiters’ controversial play was certainly a violation, but the type of violation was as much in question as the play itself. With the Thunder stealing a game on the Spurs’ floor—becoming only the second team to do so this season—Game 3 will be important for each team to take control of the series.
Maybe in Game 3 , however, arms will not be a significant factor.
whoa whoa whoa AND Steven Adams had his arm grabbed by a fan on that last play pic.twitter.com/2EwdJuwMnv
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) May 3, 2016