Watch: Pau Gasol blocks LeBron James’s game-tying shot
With the game on the line, Pau Gasol came up big for Chicago.
The Bulls led the Cavaliers by two in the final seconds of the Central Division rivals’ season-opening matchup, and Cleveland held possession. So who else but LeBron James would take the shot? The King drove off a high screen looking to channel previous clutch performances against Chicago, losing Jimmy Butler in the pick and getting a one-on-one look at Gasol to tie the game.
But though the Spanish great has lost some of his old mobility, his timing was right on. James took off in front of the restricted area and was met by Gasol’s outstretched fingertips, which rejected his shot with ease and sent James to the baseline, preserving Chicago’s 97–95 lead.
Cleveland's second attempt, off an inbounds play, was subsequently sniffed out by Butler, who corralled a lob pass and took it the other way as time expired to seal win No. 1 for Chicago and new coach Fred Hoiberg.