But near the end of the second quarter LeBron sprained his ankle when Derrick Rose stepped in to take a charge in transition.
“I rolled it pretty good,” LeBron said after the game. “I haven’t had an opportunity to see the replay, but I know I rolled it pretty good when I stepped on D-Rose’s foot in transition. I wasn’t coming out. I felt it on the floor for a while, and I just took my time. I was not coming out not only because of the position our team was in but because of who I am as the leader of the team. I was going to fight through it no matter what.”
I’d have ruled that a block. Bulls’ fans no doubt see it differently.
But should those kinds of step-in charges even be in the game? Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban says no.
That's why we shouldn't let 2ndary defenders take charges. Step in charges have become a basketball play. It shouldn't be. #changrtherule
CHICAGO — With nine seconds left in regulation, the Bulls’ Derrick Rose converted a layup to tie the Cavs at 84. Cavs head coach David Blatt then tried to call a timeout. Problem is, he had none left.
Fortunately for Blatt, Cavs assistant coach Tyronn Lue stepped in to pull him back before the referees caught on. That could have swung the game — Blatt would have given the Bulls a free throw and the ball, with the chance to take the lead.
“I almost blew it,” Blatt admitted postgame. “Good thing my guys caught it.”
LeBron James credited Lue with saving the moment, and potentially their season.
“It was huge,” James said. “That’s why we’re a unit. Players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes.”
Instead, the Cavs got the ball back and, ultimately, James won the game on a buzzer-beater. If the Cavs win this series, that play could be the moment that swung it.
LeBron James overrules Blatt play, calls own number, hits buzzer-beating game winner (VIDEO)
CHICAGO — On the heels of Derrick Rose’s miracle game-winner in Game 3 of the Bulls-Cavs series, LeBron James returned the favor with this long jumper at the buzzer to break an 84-84 tie and regain home court advantage:
James says he overruled David Blatt on the play call.
“To be honest, the play that was drawn up, I scratched it,” James said after the game. “And I told coach, ‘Just give me the ball. Either it’s going to overtime or I’m going to win it for us.’ It was that simple.”
Originally, James was supposed to take the ball out. He wasn’t having it.
“I told coach there’s no way I’m taking the ball out unless I could shoot it over the backboard and go in. So, I told him to have somebody else take the ball out and get out of the way.”
It worked, and rather than going home to Cleveland on Tuesday in a 3-1 hole, James and the Cavs have tied the series at two games apiece.
“I’ve made big shots before in the postseason,” James said. “Obviously this was a big one for our team. You don’t want to go down 3-1 to anyone. I was able to regain home court with the shot. For me, I just don’t like letting my teammates down. I did that on a few plays late in the fourth quarter. There were a couple of offensive foul calls. I was happy to be able to make a play at the end.”
Marc Gasol banks in dagger for Memphis in win over Warriors (VIDEO)
This wasn’t the game winner, but his shot to beat the shot clock banked in and was the dagger in the Grizzlies’ 99-89 win over the Warriors. This was the shot that was the final nail in Golden State’s coffin for the night and put Memphis up 2-1 in the series.
Memphis has the chance to take total control of the series on Monday night in Game 4. At home.
Tristan Thompson on Derrick Rose’s game-winner: ‘It was a lucky shot’
As the Cavaliers attempted to come to grips with what had just occurred on the floor of the United Center to send them to a 2-1 deficit in the series, they were content with the way that final play was defended — mainly due to the nature of Rose’s shot.
“I contested,” Thompson told Northeast Ohio Media Group late Friday night. “It wasn’t like he just walked in and took a three. That’s all you can really ask for. It was a lucky shot. He hit it off the glass. It’s tough.”
LeBron James and J.R. Smith essentially echoed the sentiment.
When Thompson finally got dressed and exited the corner conversation to speak to the media that had huddled in front of him, James and Smith studied him when he was asked about Rose’s last-second heave.
“It’s just a tough-ass shot,” James said to Smith before Thompson began his answer. “Shoot it again, he misses,” Smith replied.
This isn’t trash talk by the Cavaliers, and it isn’t in any way meant to discount Rose’s effort.
When you lose a game on a shot like that, you look for reasons why. And since there aren’t any that are logical, it’s easier just to chalk it up to your opponent simply being more fortunate.