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LeBron's 6th foul focus of Heat's loss

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Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals boiled down to one question:

Was it a foul or wasn’t it?

The foul in question was on LeBron James with 56 seconds remaining in a nip-and-tuck game. The key was it was his sixth foul, essentially sealing the Heat’s fate in their 99-92 loss to the Pacers to tie the series at 2-2.

Sounds ho-hum but when you take into consideration that this was only the second time in LBJ’s lengthy playoff career that he has hit the showers early (Game 4 vs. Boston in 2012 East finals was the other), it sheds some light on why the outrage came so swiftly. But before we go any further let’s revisit the play so much in question.

Tough to make that call on a four-time MVP during a four-point game with less than a minute to go. But that’s what the refs did. And Twitter lit up with all kinds of responses.

First we have the obvious conspiracy theories.

Then the sudden shock of it all (including what happened in Queens).

And what some other players felt when the whistle was blown.

Dwyane Wade, more than anyone else on the Heat, should have felt like he was trapped in a nightmare. After LeBron fouled out, the Heat’s chances of winning were in Wade’s once-capable hands. But he fumbled away the opportunity, getting called for travelling with 26 seconds left and the Heat trailing 96-92. Wade needed 15 shots to get 16 points.

Wade’s struggles this postseason has not gone unnoticed, either.

Just to clarify that’s sparingly used Lakers reserve Andrew Goudelock, who played in only three playoff games. Wade’s played in 12.

But let’s not forget the third member of the Heat’s supposed Big 3. Chris Bosh finished with seven points on six shots and grabbed three rebounds in 30 minutes. That’s not gonna cut it, especially when the Pacers outrebounded the Heat by 19 in the loss.

Bosh took his share of criticism, even some that went below the belt.

But in the end, all the talk focused on the foul call. The Big 3 sounded off on the call after the game.

Well, at least LeBron was paying homage to the '80s with his postgame attire. What? That's not a Members Only jacket?

Tagged: Pacers, Lakers, Heat, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

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