The Oklahoma City Thunder's 2018 season was supposed to see them challenge for the NBA title.

Signing All-Star forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to play alongside guard Russell Westbrook, 'the OK3' were expected to deliver Thunder fans a season to remember. And Steven Adams' breakout season only added to the potential within the team.

Instead, it won't be the season that's remembered, but the controversial no-call that ended it.

Falling 3-2 behind the Utah Jazz and facing elimination in the first round of the playoffs, the Thunder trailed by three points with a little more than 24 seconds on the clock.

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Following a timeout, George got the ball and pump-faked a three-point shot which got Jazz centre Rudy Gobert off his feet.

The Thunder forward then stepped into his shot - taking on contact from Gobert. In past seasons, it would likely have been a foul. But with the NBA cracking down on players creating contact to draw shooting fouls this season, no call was made.

As the rule states: "The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made." Whether George's stepping into the contact rather than going straight up with the shot constitued another motion in the referees' eyes, or they didn't think contact was made - no call came.

And with that went the season. For the second year in a row, Adams and the Thunder were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round.

Despite the big Kiwi's best performance of the post-season, posting 19 points with 15 rebounds (seven offensive), the Thunder were unable to steal game six, and fell to a 96-91 loss.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Utah Jazz. Photo / Getty Images
The Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Utah Jazz. Photo / Getty Images

Tied 48-all at halftime, Utah's star rookie guard Donovan Mitchell stepped up in a big way to score 23 points in the third quarter.

Falling behind by double digits with the season in the balance, Westbrook took over for the Thunder and, with 1.28 left on the clock, OKC drew within one point with a Westbrook three-pointer.

It was the last basket of the Thunder's season.

Westbrook finished the night with 46 points (18-43 FG; 7-19 3PT), but got little help from George (five points; 2-16 FG).

Steven Adams screens Derrick Favors as Carmelo Anthony drives. Photo / Getty Images
Steven Adams screens Derrick Favors as Carmelo Anthony drives. Photo / Getty Images

On the other side of the court, Mitchell - who exceeded expectations all season - finished the game with 38 points and became the first rookie to score 20 points or more in his first six playoffs games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1970.

Donovan Mitchell has quickly turned into a star for the Utah Jazz. Photo / Getty Images
Donovan Mitchell has quickly turned into a star for the Utah Jazz. Photo / Getty Images

But the Jazz had contributions across the board all series, with Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles, Ricky Rubio and Gobert all stepping up both offensively and defensively.

As a reward, they'll meet the free-scoring Houston Rockets in the second round after they eliminated the Minnesota Timberwolves in their opening series 4-1.