The Oklahoma City Thunder held on for a 98-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals to even the series, but it didn't come without controversy.
With 13.5 seconds to play and Oklahoma City clinging to a one-point lead, the Thunder had the ball following three Spurs free throws. After a timeout, Oklahoma City's Dion Waiters had trouble finding someone to inbound the basketball to—so he created some room by leaning in and shoving Spurs guard Manu Ginobili away.
You read that right. The inbounder shoved the defender to make some space.
Yeah, um, that's not within the rules. (Of course, some may argue Ginobili stepped on the line.)
Despite not getting the call against Waiters, San Antonio was able to create a turnover on the pass and give itself a chance to win the game in the final seconds. However, the Spurs did not get a go-ahead bucket to steal the victory.
After the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich briefly shared his thoughts on the play, via Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman:
As for Waiters?
Some will argue that it doesn't matter that the referees didn't call a foul or a violation on Waiters because San Antonio still got a chance to win. That shouldn't matter, though. If something had been called there, the Spurs would have gotten possession and may have called a timeout to set up a play for the final seconds.
And as if that wasn't crazy enough, video shows that Thunder big man Steven Adams was grabbed by somebody in the crowd after he contested a shot:
After all that, the series heads to Oklahoma City tied at one game apiece.