LeBron James scoffs at notion clutch late-game block was goaltending (vid)
LeBron James came up with two incredibly clutch plays in the waning moments of Game 5 Wednesday night that sealed the Cleveland Cavaliers’ thrilling 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
There certainly is no disputing the magnificence of James’ cold-blooded three-pointer at the end of regulation.
LeBron Clutch Moments Pt. 2 pic.twitter.com/qHl5GlEGX1
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) April 26, 2018
However, there has been much debate over whether or not the play that immediately preceded James’ game-winner should have been called differently. James rose up and blocked Victor Oladipo’s driving reverse layup with 3.3 seconds remaining in the game.
It looks like the officials missed a major goaltend call here pic.twitter.com/qEYZhPDYbT
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) April 26, 2018
No goaltending was called, obviously. Oladipo not surprisingly sees things much differently, stating his case after the game.
“Felt like I even got grabbed on the way to the rim,” Oladipo said of the play. “Tried to shoot a layup. Hit the backboard. Then he blocked it. Replays, I guess you guys can see, it was a tough play at the time for him, but, it was a goaltend.”
James after the game scoffed at the notion he got away with goaltending.
The Pacers thought @KingJames's block was clearly goaltending.
What did the man himself think?#WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/zOXyLFDpZS
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) April 26, 2018
“I definitely thought it was a goaltend,” James said facetiously, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “Of course, I didn’t think it was a goaltend. I try to make plays like that all the time and I mean he made a heck of a move. Got me leaning right and he went left and I just tried to use my recovery speed and get back up there and make a play on the ball and I was able to make a play.”
James has put the Cavaliers in a position to close out the Pacers on the road Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Game 6. Holding serve at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night also means the Cavaliers have another home-court game, if necessary, in their back pocket.
James said before the game that he hoped he would be “at my best or close to it” in Game 5. The debate over whether or not James got away with goaltending is now an academic one. But it goes without saying either way James accomplished what he set out to achieve.