Video: Nets' Mason Plumlee makes game-saving block on Heat's LeBron James
With Brooklyn holding a one-point lead, Miami gathered a defensive rebound with 10 seconds left, looking to push the ball up the court. James led a three-on-two break down the middle, shoveling the ball to Rashard Lewis on the left wing. Lewis circled underneath the basket, collapsing Brooklyn's interior defense, before dishing back to James with five seconds on the clock. James gathered and jumped off two feet for the dunk, as Plumlee recovered across the paint from the right block to contest the shot. The two players met above the rim, with Plumlee succeeding in parrying the slam attempt.
Video replays showed that Plumlee's right hand made contact with the ball and James' right hand on the play, and James immediately began looking around for a foul call. None came, and the Nets dribbled out the clock to complete a 4-0 season series sweep against the two-time defending champions.
"It only mattered if three people thought it was a foul and they didn't think it was, so we win," Plumlee told TNT during a post-game interview, referring to the game officials.
Afterwards, James didn't dance around his thoughts on the subject.
"It was a foul," he said.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra agreed.
"It was a foul from my vantage point," he said, according to the Associated Press. "But what can you do?"
The 6-foot-10 Plumlee was the No. 22 pick in last year's draft. He finished with eight points (on 4-for-6 shooting), eight rebounds, two assists and three blocks against Miami.
"It’s winning time so it doesn’t matter if it’s Dwight [Howard], LeBron, whoever," Plumlee said of his game-saving play, according to the New York Post. "You just have to meet them at the rim. There will be times I get dunked on, but they’re going to have to go through me or over me."
Tuesday marked the second time in less than a month that Brooklyn made a final stand on defense to beat Miami. Back in March, Shaun Livingston deflected an inbounds pass from Chris Bosh to James, sealing a victory.
Joe Johnson led Brooklyn with 19 points (on 9-for-17 shooting) and two rebounds.
James finished with a game-high 29 points (on 9-for-16 shooting), 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals. The Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade, also got 12 points (on 5-for-13 shooting) and six rebounds from Chris Bosh. Brooklyn, the East's No. 5 seed, improved to 43-34 with the win. Miami dropped to 53-24 with the loss and now holds a half-game lead over Indiana for the East's top spot.