The Western Conference Finals 2018 continues to get intense as the Houston Rockets tied the series with the Golden State Warriors after a 95-92 victory on Tuesday night at the Oracle Arena. The final seconds of Game 4 couldn’t get any crazier as the Warriors got the opportunity to tie or win the game. Unfortunately, they failed to knock down a shot, and the loss was partially blamed on Warriors head coach Steve Kerr for not calling a timeout.
After James Harden missed a three-point shot, Kevin Durant got the rebound, and the Warriors had 12 seconds to orchestrate their final play. However, instead of calling a timeout, coach Steve Kerr just let his players handle the situation where Durant ended up passing the ball to Klay Thompson who was then caught in a trap and forced to take a complicated shot. In a post-game interview, Kerr explained his decision not to call a late timeout.
“I’m always a proponent of pushing the ball off of a miss rather than taking a timeout, letting the defense get set up. So I thought we’d get a better shot in transition,” Kerr said (h/t Sports Interactive Network Philippines). “That’s why I let them play.”
However, coach Steve Kerr admitted that he wanted to call a timeout when he saw Thompson having a hard time making the final shot. Kerr added that Draymond Green was trying to call one with four seconds left in the game, but he was ignored by the referees.
“Once he got trapped, and at that point, the officials weren’t looking, and they’re not going to look down at our bench. So I saw Draymond trying to call it, and I was hoping they’d give it to us, but we didn’t get it,” Kerr said.
Watch: Steve Kerr Explains Not Calling a Timeout in Finals Seconds of Warriors-Rockets Game https://t.co/dUGytvP8IO— Eva Hissey (@EH3768) May 23, 2018
When Thompson missed the shot, Chris Paul grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0.5 seconds left in the game. Paul only hit one free throw, giving the Warriors the chance to tie the game with a three-pointer. The Warriors used their final timeout to make a play for Stephen Curry. The former MVP got an open look but failed to send the game to overtime.
The Warriors had lots of opportunities to win Game 4, but the Rockets were just too good on the defensive end of the floor. In their second win of the series, James Harden led the Rockets with 30 points, four rebounds, and four assists while Chris Paul added 27 points, four assists, and two rebounds.
Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals matchup between the Warriors and the Rockets will be on Thursday night at the Toyota Center.