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Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James, Tyronn Lue unhappy with decisive late-game blocking foul

lebron-james-postgame-053118-ftr
LeBron James at the podium (Getty Images)

Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue has expressed his dismay and confusion over the blocking foul on LeBron James that altered the course of the fourth quarter.

After initially calling a charge on Kevin Durant, the referees came to an agreement that James was in fact not in a ''legal guarding position'', hence the reason for overturning the decision.

Stunned on the sidelines, Lue claims he has never seen such a dramatic overturning in his career.

''They called a charge and Lebron was clearly four feet outside the restricted area so it doesn't make sense to review it,'' Lue said.

''It's bad. It's never been done before where you know he's outside the restricted (zone) and you go in and overturn the call and say it's a block.

''…It's never been done, ever, in the history of the game and the tonight, in the finals on the biggest stage…it ain't right.''

The referees agreed with Lue that James was not in the restricted area, however, he failed to plant his feet and legally stop Durant from getting to the rim.

''The reason for the trigger is we had doubt as to whether James was in the restricted area. When over the table, we are then allowed to determine whether or not he was in a legal guarding position,'' a statement said.

''It was determined he was out of the restricted area, but he was not in a legal guarding position prior to Durant's separate shooting motion. So we had to change it to a blocking foul.''

LeBron feels he did everything by the book.

''I read that play just as I read any play in my career. Defensively,'' James said.

"I saw the drive, I was outside the charge line. I stepped in, took the contact.

''It's a huge play.''

For a minute, Durant thought he was hard done by, but he had praise for the review system after his side narrowly escaped a shattering Game 1 loss.

''I knew once there was 30 seconds to go that they can review that situation. There's a couple - goal-tending and block/charge,'' he said.

''A couple of years ago they put that rule in where you can review them just like you can review out of bounds calls so I knew that. I knew he was late on the drive and I knew I had my man beat and he came over a little late.

''When they called the charge I was surprised but I'm glad they reviewed it.''

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