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Two missed calls that could’ve changed Cavs-Pacers Game 5 outcome

Victor Oladipo

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers in a tightly-contested Game 5 on Wednesday night, 98-95. What was a three point Cavs victory, however, could’ve had a multitude of different endings, including a Pacers victory.

With about 33 seconds left, the Cavs called timeout with the ball and game tied at 95 apiece. James drove baseline coming out of the timeout, but was well defended by Thaddeus Young. Young poked the ball out of James’ hands, bouncing on the baseline and out of bounds.

Only the official didn’t blow his whistle, and the ball bounced up, hit James, and definitively bounced out of bounds. The official said Pacers ball, and Indiana called timeout to draw up a potential game winner. Had the referees come to review the play, they would’ve seen that the ball bounced off Young and the Cavs would’ve been awarded a possession out of the baseline.

Out of the timeout, Victor Oladipo isolated near the half-court line with LeBron James ready to defend at the top of the key. Oladipo drove down the left side of the lane and elevated for a layup attempt. James stayed with him and pinned the ball on the backboard for his first rejection of the night. The Cavs recovered and called timeout with three seconds remaining, which set up LeBron James’ game winner.

The replay on the TV and in-arena big screen, however, showed that James got to the ball after it hit the backboard. Had the officials reviewed the play right away as Oladipo asked the officials to, they would’ve seen that James goaltended and awarded the Pacers two points.

Either way, James ended up hitting a three-pointer at the top of the key for the win, and Cleveland went on to take a 3-2 lead. Game 6 between the two teams on Friday night in Indianapolis.

The Land