Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt almost cost his team a win on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls before LeBron James hit a buzzer beater to win it.
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James won the game for the visitors after hitting a jumper as the clock expired to tie the series 2-2 heading back to Cleveland for Game 5 on Tuesday night, but he was almost prevented from doing so.
The Cavs had used all their timeouts, including two near the end of the game, and Blatt unknowingly wanted another despite the fact that he had none left.
As a result, but for the quick thinking of assistant coach Tyronn Lue who quickly pulled him back towards the bench before the officials could spot him calling for it, the Cavs would have been assessed a technical foul which would have resulted in the Bulls getting a free throw as well as possession.
“Yeah, I almost blew it, to be honest with you,” Blatt said, ESPN reported.
“I think we called two or three timeouts there on that sideline out. And good thing they caught it, my guys.”
None of the three officials were close to Blatt as he called the timeout and so didn’t see him, with James revealing after the game that the Cavs “are a unit” and are there for each other to cover their mistakes.
Had it gone the other way, they would have undoubtedly had some big questions to ask about themselves, but fortunately for Blatt they were not penalised and they went on to win the game with that memorable shot from their two-time NBA champion.
A win for the Bulls would have certainly put them in a commanding position at 3-1, but instead the momentum is once again with their rivals as this epic series continues to unfold.