The NBA’s officiating czar agreed with the Golden State Warriors and just about everybody inside Oracle Arena on Monday night: Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook traveled in the final seconds of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. “It’s an unfortunate miss, but so much going on in the play and the speed of it,” NBA Senior Vice President of Replay and Referee Operations Joe Borgia said in a post-game interview with NBA TV. “Officiating is about getting angles and sometimes you just can’t get them. They did not get a great angle on that play.”
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“The officials are thinking possibly that Thompson might want to take a foul, so they’re focusing a lot on Thompson,” Borgia said. “Then all of a sudden Westbrook just pulls up. The officials, no one could get in a good position to see him drag that pivot foot.” Warrior coach Steve Kerr wasn’t pinning the loss on the missed call in his post-game news conference, citing the lack of production — especially a 14-point effort in the fourth quarter — as the major factor. “I didn’t talk to the refs about it,” Kerr said. “ “I thought he walked, but it wasn’t called. That’s the way it goes.”
Two females are “top candidates” to become NBA referees in 2012-13, Joe Borgia, the vice president of referee operations, said Monday. Lauren Holtkamp and Brenda Pantoja are both WNBA officials who worked the semifinals of the National Basketball Development League playoffs. If chosen for a partial schedule or the entire season, they would join veteran Violet Palmer as the only active female ref in the NBA.