Kerr explains why Warriors didn’t foul Holmgren on buzzer-beater originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The Warriors added another chapter to the NBA’s age-old debate about whether or not to foul in the final seconds of a game while up three points.
Golden State elected not to foul Chet Holmgren in the final seconds of regulation in their 130-123 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night at Chase Center, and the rookie center made them pay with a game-tying 3-pointer to force an extra five minutes.
Immediately following the loss, Warriors coach Steve Kerr explained his thought process on not fouling with 1.6 seconds remaining.
“We only wanted to foul if it was a clean foul because at that time, if somebody catches — I’ve seen a lot of plays where you foul early and they still give the guy a shooting foul, so you’ve got to be really careful,” Kerr told reporters. “So we switched and [Andrew Wiggins] got a good challenge. Chet just made an incredible shot.”
Wiggins, who was guarding Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the inbound pass, switched onto Holmgren, but the 7-footer hoisted the shot over the outstretched arms of the Warriors forward.
“I tried,” Wiggins told reporters. “He’s tall.”
Wiggins didn’t intend to intentionally foul Holmgren before he could get the shot off.
“You could foul but I felt he was about to turn and shoot, so it would have been, he’s going to shoot it or three free throws, so I just tried to put a hand up,” Wiggins said.
Holmgren’s buzzer-beater came moments after Wiggins hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining in regulation.
For a few minutes, it appeared as though Wiggins was going to be the Warriors’ hero in his best game of the 2023-24 NBA season.
But his big game was spoiled by one of the brightest young NBA stars.
“That’s the NBA,” Wiggins said. “As long as there’s time on the clock, you never know what can happen. There’s a lot of good players in this league and Chet had a great game.”
Wiggins and the Warriors (6-8) now have lost six consecutive games, including the last five at Chase Center.
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