Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
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After hitting a miraculous corner three-pointer with .5 seconds left in overtime against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry got in the face of official Marat Kogut and had to be pulled away by teammate DeMarcus Cousins.
The Warriors took exception to Kogut’s officiating throughout the game, and after the Warriors ended up losing due to a controversial call on the game’s final possession, Curry called Kogut “the MVP of tonight.”
The Warriors were down 130-127 with four seconds left in overtime when Kevin Durant hit an apparent game-tying three-pointer and was fouled on the play, which would have sent him to the line for a go-ahead free throw attempt.
However, officials ruled that the contact was made before Durant’s upward shooting motion, so the shot was ruled no good and the Warriors were forced to inbound the ball and try again.
Stephen Curry then hit his corner three to tie the game at 130, which is when he approached Kogut. However, Kogut and the officials got the last laugh after a foul was called on Kevin Durant while the Timberwolves were trying to inbound the ball with .5 seconds left.
Because the Timberwolves were in the bonus, Karl-Anthony Towns was sent to the free throw line and made his first attempt to put the Wolves ahead 131-130, then intentionally missed the second to prevent the Warriors from taking another shot.
Curry, Durant and head coach Steve Kerr all ripped into Kogut and the officials after the game.
“Did I think it was before the shot?” Kerr said of the foul during Durant’s shot. “I just watched the replay. He caught and he shot, it’s a four-point play. I mean, I don’t know what else to say. Kind of mind-boggling. You catch and you go up for a shot, and you get fouled in any league—any league—that’s a good bucket and a free throw. Any league, not just the NBA.”
Durant agreed with his coach.
“[Kogut] is so good with the whistle that he knew they were going to foul me and he called it right before I shot the ball,” Durant sarcastically said of the play. “So, he’s one of the greatest refs of all time.”
Curry was asked which of the two pivotal calls was worse, to which he replied, “You’d have to ask the MVP of tonight, [Marat] Kogut.”
Curry scored 37 points and went 11-19 from three-point range, and Durant scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. The loss puts Golden State in a tie for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with the Denver Nuggets.
The Warriors play next against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Steph-Curry-Marat-Kogut-DeMarcus-Cousins-refs-call-13728982.php.