NBA notebook: James’ late block was goaltending

(Field Level Media) Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James had a game-saving block followed by a game-winning three-pointer on Wednesday night to beat the Indiana Pacers.

However, the NBA noted in its Last Two Minute Report that referees should have called goaltending instead of allowing a legal block.

With the score tied at 95 and the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, Indiana guard Victor Oladipo drove down the left side of the lane with James defending. Oladipo laid the ball of the glass moments before James swatted away the attempt. Goaltending should have been called but wasn’t, and the play wasn’t reviewable by replay under NBA rules.

Cleveland came up with the rebound with three seconds left, called timeout and set up a play on which James hit a 3-pointer to give Cleveland a 98-95 win and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

— Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is questionable for Saturday’s second-round series opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, coach Steve Kerr said.

Kerr said Curry went through the entirety of Thursday’s practice and had no issues with his injured left knee.

Curry has missed the team’s past 15 games — including all five games of the first-round series with the San Antonio Spurs — due to an MCL sprain.

— The Memphis Grizzlies and interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff are in serious discussions on a multiyear contract to fill the team’s opening full-time, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.

Bickerstaff took over the team on an interim basis when David Fizdale was fired after a 7-12 start in November. Memphis finished the season 22-60.

Bickerstaff, 39, joined the Grizzlies in 2016 as an associate head coach after six years as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets. He coached the Rockets on an interim basis in 2015-16, leading the team to a 37-34 record.

—Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee underwent surgery to repair a core-muscle injury in Philadelphia, the team announced.

The 28-year-old will be able to resume basketball activities this summer and is expected to be at full strength when training camp begins.

Plumlee averaged 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 74 games (26 starts) this season. He is under contract at just under $13 million for 2018-19.

 

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