CLEVELAND - The end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals was madness, and some of the reason for that madness falls on the shoulders of the refs.
In case you missed it: After the Cavs rallied from being down six late in the fourth quarter, with a minute to go, and Cleveland holding a two-point lead, Kevin Durant of the Warriors drove to the basket against the Cavs' Jeff Green. On the drive, Durant collided with LeBron James in the lane. The refs called a charge on Durant. Then they reversed the call on the replay.
"I read that play just as well as I've read any play in my career, maybe in my life," James said. "I [had] seen the play happening. I knew I was outside the charge line, and I knew I took the hit."
The referee crew elected to review the play, an option afforded to them by the NBA rulebook, to examine whether James was situated fully outside the restricted area.
"The reason for the trigger is that we had doubt as to whether or not James was in the restricted area," Mauer said following the game.
Replays showed James' feet were some distance outside the restricted area, prompting the Cavaliers to question the necessity of the replay review.
"LeBron was clearly 4 feet outside the restricted area," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "So it doesn't make sense to go review something if -- the review is if he's on the line or if he's close to the charge circle, that's the review. He wasn't close."
"To do what (LeBron) did tonight and come out robbed, it's just not right," Lue said.