LeBron James and Kyrie Irving got the best of the Celtics in Game 2, but Evan Turner believes the Cavs may have got a little bit of extra help from the officiating crew late in the team’s 99-91 win over the Celtics.
Boston climbed back from a 14-point second half deficit in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to five points with just under five minutes remaining in the contest. At that point, a pair of questionable foul calls against Avery Bradley on back-to-back Cavs possessions drew Turner’s ire.
“I mean, you know, not to knock on [LeBron and Kyrie],” Turner told reporters in Cleveland after Game 2. “They are great players, but Avery [Bradley] is a known defender...To call a foul [when Irving is shooting] behind the backboard in that type of possession, it should never be called. It wasn’t a playable shot. It wasn’t a makeable shot.
“That was the craziest call, and then at the end of the game, you call a travel on the ground [when] that was the same [type of defense Bradley was playing] the whole time? That was the only tough part about today. That didn’t make any sense.”
Does Turner have a point? You can judge for yourself on these two possessions.
Bennett Salvatore made the foul call on both plays, and earned plenty of criticism on social media for the questionable whistles.
The PBP feed of this Celts@Cavs game is going to be littered with B. Salvatores name.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) April 22, 2015
Seriously how does this guy get playoff games over and over. He’s such a horrendous ref.— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) April 22, 2015
Bennett Salvatore should have retired 9 years ago.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 22, 2015
Salvatore's eyes went up, didn't watch the body, but called the foul on the body https://t.co/mpemt11rFz— Rich Levine (@rich_levine) April 22, 2015
I don't care what no one says Avery Bradley is playing great Defense on Kyrie and he keeps getting a bad whistle #UDIGG— Marquis Daniels (@Marquis_Daniels) April 22, 2015
Didn't realize Kyrie had reached MJ status yet with the officials. That whistle just killed any and all momentum.Again, let the players play— Eric Newman (@coachenew) April 22, 2015
Irving made two free throws after the shooting foul, pushing Cleveland’s lead to six points with 3:08 remaining in the game. Boston failed to keep pace with the Cavs after the sequence, but Turner felt the calls shifted the game’s momentum.
“You can’t really worry about it. You try to do the right thing. You know the refs are trying hard and can’t see everything. You just try to play hard, but certain things…the one behind the backboard, 35 feet or whatever in the corner was a crazy call. That was a big game-changer down the stretch,” Turner said.