The Oklahoma City Thunder managed to scrape out a 123-118 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in round one of the Play-In Tournament to keep their 2022-23 season alive. While the club’s all-around efforts were certainly impressive to bear witness to, perhaps the most noteworthy part of the night was the controversial late-game matchup between Brandon Ingram and Lu Dort.
At around the six-second mark in the final period of regulation, NOLA’s star wing chucked up a pivotal triple to cut OKC’s lead down to just one point at 119-118. Directly following the play, Ingram was outwardly furious with the officiating crew for not calling a foul on what he believed to be contact in the act of shooting initiated by Dort.
Brandon Ingram was looking for a foul call on this shot late in the game.
A four-point play would’ve tied the game pic.twitter.com/DnaHaB8JQT
— ESPN (@espn) April 13, 2023
While Brandon Ingram would carry his disdain for the lacking of blown whistles into his post-game media session, Lu Dort seemed to believe that the defense he played was simply a top-notch effort on his part.
“It was tough. He’s a tough player. He got a height advantage against me and, you know, he made some tough ones tonight. In that possession, I just had to make everything tough and I just had to stay in front of him and I felt like I did a good job of that and did well and I made him make a big play,” Dort said regarding the late-game play.
Regardless of the controversy, Dort had himself a tremendous showing against the Pelicans Wednesday night. In 36 minutes played, the fourth-year veteran registered 27 points, 5 rebounds, and a block while shooting 57.1% shooting from the field and 50.0% from deep.
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