National Basketball Association admits referees missed Paul George's elbow to head of Jusuf Nurkic

Florence Fletcher
March 11, 2019

Russell Westbrook had 37 points and Paul George added 32 points and 14 rebounds for the Oklahoma City Thunder in a chippy 129-121 overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. Throughout the game, neither team led by more than eight points and there were 23 lead changes and 16 ties. He thought George hit him again and confronted George forehead to forehead, and both players drew technicals - Nurkic's second, ending his evening.

Russell Westbrook, the epicenter of the Thunder angst, didn't seem too concerned one way or the other about what Portland desired. After a Westbrook turnover and a missed Lillard shot from beyond half court at the buzzer, the teams headed to overtime. As mentioned, the whole contest was a barnburner, close throughout and OKC led by two points at halftime.

The game was tight the entire way, and featured an ejection of Yosef Nurkic, who received a second technical foul late in regulation when he and Paul George squared off after a foul inside.

Lillard also had 9 assists, CJ McCollum added 25 points and Jusuf Nurkic had 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

Video: Paul George Elbows Jusuf Nurkic in the Face, Gets Headbutted by Portland Big Man
Russell Westbrook gets flagrant foul for incident with Jusuf Nurkic

The Trail Blazers have gone 24-8 at home.

McCutchen further cited the need for referees to withstand the differing dynamics that result from when during the season a game is played - including whether it's in the playoffs - and how that could lower the bar on how games are called. He missed both, but a loose-ball foul was called on the Thunder and Al-Farouq Aminu made both shots to tie it at 113 with 2.9 seconds left. But wait! In a freaky twist, OKC fouled Al-Farouq Aminu as they fought for the rebound and Aminu was awarded two more free throws. Jusuf Nurkić has owned the paint in recent games, and the newly acquired Rodney Hood went off for 27 points off the bench against the Hornets.

Looking at the betting trends, the Suns are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games, 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a win or more than 10 points and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.

The Bucks gained control with a 12-0 spurt early in the fourth quarter. It was a highly entertaining game, and certainly set the stage for a great series should these two teams meet in the playoffs. Unfortunately, it appears that OKC has their number.

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