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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Referees continue to make key calls for Heat in NBA finals

06.18.12 at 7:27 am ET

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MLB: Braves at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MiLB: Pawtucket at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (NESN)


‘™¦ The Heat have won the last two games in the NBA finals to take a 2-1 series lead, and both games featured controversial calls that benefited LeBron James and left the Thunder frustrated.

In the closing seconds of Thursday’s Game 2, James escaped a foul call despite clearly making contact with Kevin Durant as the Thunder star attempted a game-tying shot. In Sunday’s Game 3, James was the beneficiary of a generous foul call with 16 seconds left that allowed him to essentially put the game away with a free throw.

Durant, meanwhile, was whistled for a fourth foul that forced him to the bench in the third quarter, despite the fact that he never made contact with Dwyane Wade on the play. It was during the time when Durant was on the bench when Miami made the game-changing run and rallied from 10 points down to take the lead.

“I try not to concern myself with the officiating,” Durant said afterward. “They’re going to make their calls, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t change it. Just got to play through it. There’s going to be some calls they may miss. They’re human.”

‘™¦ Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian, competing against Marin Cilic in the final of the Queens Club tournament in London on Sunday, vented his frustration after missing a shot by kicking a sign. Unfortunately, there was a line judge behind the sign, and the official’s knee took the brunt of the force. Nalbandian, who was winning in the second set, was disqualified.

Despite an ATP that states any violent action will result in an automatic default, the 10th-seeded Nalbandian questioned the ruling.

“Sometimes you get very frustrated on court and it’s tough to control that, and sometimes I do a mistake. So it’s very tough to end a final like that,” he said. “But sometimes we feel so much pressure from the ATP to play a lot of tournaments. They don’t do anything [for] us, and today I do a mistake and I have to pay like that.

“I agree I do a mistake but sometimes everybody do a mistake and I didn’t feel it had to end like that, especially in a final.”

‘™¦ Russia’s soccer association was fined Sunday for the second time at the European Championship in Poland, this time a $37,800 penalty for “improper conduct” by fans during last Tuesday’s match against Poland. Russia previously was fined $150,000 after fans attacked stadium staff at the nation’s first match against the Czech Republic.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 18, 1953, the Red Sox scored 17 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 23-3 victory over the Tigers. Which Sox outfielder had three hits in the inning?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We carry that pain with us. We think about it every day and that really helps us to succeed in this series.” — Heat forward Chris Bosh, after Sunday’s Game 3 victory over the Thunder, referring to last year’s loss in the NBA finals

STAT OF THE DAY: 9 — Consecutive wins for the Yankees — all coming against teams with winning records, a team record

‘NET RESULTS: Someone with too much time on their hands edited clips of Tom Brady so that he says the words to the song “Call Me Maybe.”

A golf fan interrupts Sunday’s U.S. Open trophy presentation in San Francisco by clucking like a chicken.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Gene Stephens

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Paul McCartney turns 70 Monday.

Read More: David Nalbandian, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, LeBron James