Now we can die in peace. We've officially seen it all.
Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was hit with an offensive foul for an illegal screen on his homecourt during the game-deciding possession of Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. Yes, it really happened.
With 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Celtics trailing 78-75, the Celtics inbounded to Rajon Rondo, who looked to set up Paul Pierce for a game-tying three-pointer. Garnett looked to free Pierce from Sixers forward Andre Iguodala with a pick near the three-point line, but he appeared to lean and move in as he set the pick.
NBA referee Michael Smith immediately whistled Garnett for an offensive foul for the illegal screen, turning possession over to the Sixers with 10 seconds remaining. The Sixers hit their free throws and went on to win Game 2, 82-81, to even the series at one game apiece.
After the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers complained softly about the unusual whistle.
"I wasn't fond of it at all," he said. "I think Kevin got three off the ball offensive fouls. It looked like they were looking for it all night, and they got three of them. Listen, if you're going to tell me Kevin was the only one moving, I could live with that. But clearly he was not."
Garnett's response was similarly restrained, although a bit cryptic.
"Mike made a great call," he said, according to WEEI. "I don't really give it up to the refs, but he thought that was a moving pick... I just thought in that situation you let the players decide the game. He felt like it was an illegal pick and that's what it is."
The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Wednesday night.