NBA says referees missed goaltending call by LeBron James against Pacers in Game 5

April 26, 2018

The NBA said LeBron James' block in the closing seconds of Game 5 on Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo's layup attempt should have been called goaltending.

In the league's "Last Two Minute Report," posted Thursday, the NBA said the three officials missed the call with 5.1 seconds left. The league said the video shows James illegally blocking Oladipo's shot "after it makes contact with the backboard." The visiting Pacers should have been awarded two points, which would have given them a 97-95 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Under league rules, the play could not be reviewed because it wasn't called on the floor. The play would have been reviewable, however, if goaltending had been called. James then hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cavaliers a 98-95 win and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

The Pacers did not contest the block while on the floor, but later in their locker room, they complained about the no-call.

The controversy prompted Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to sign an executive order outlawing goaltending in Indianapolis while declaring Friday—when the Pacers host the Cavs in Game 6—“Blue and Gold Day” in the city.

"Indiana is the center of the basketball universe, and sometimes that means we have an obligation to stand up and defend the basic rules of the game," the mayor said in a press release. "With this Executive Order, I hope Indianapolis residents can be confident that our city is ready to watch our Pacers win Game 6 on Friday.”

The NBA's report also said the Pacers were incorrectly awarded the ball on a play with 27.6 seconds left. The ball went off Indiana's Thaddeus Young and went out of bounds, but the referees gave the ball to Indiana.


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