LeBron James scored 38 points in the Miami Heat's 98-90 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 on Monday night, but two of those points should not have counted. The reason? James clearly traveled during the go-ahead layup that put the Heat up by two, 86-84, with 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Take a look for yourself.
Even if you are a fan of James and the Heat, you can't possibly argue that call. James did travel, plain and simple. Here's the official rule on traveling from the NBA.
"A player who receives the ball...upon completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop, passing or shooting the ball."
Based on that rule, James may have even traveled twice on that play. Hollywood Paroxysm examines...
There are essentially two ways to interpret LeBron James' drive to the rim, and both of them should result in a violation; LeBron either took a gather step and then three subsequent steps on his drive, or he took a horrible jump stop (that would have been an automatic travel in itself) before pivoting out of that jump stop to create another potential violation. I'll give LeBron the benefit of the doubt and assume that he only traveled once in this case.
To be fair, that missed call wasn't the only reason that the Heat beat the Celtics in Game 4, considering that Paul Pierce had the chance to win the game as time expired in regulation, but missed a fade-away jumper. Still, if James was called for traveling in that instance, the outcome may have been different. We'll just never know.