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Spurs beat Warriors on controversial Thiago Splitter tip-in (Video)

Gregg Popovich did that thing on Thursday night where he infuriates the NBA by resting his superstar players for a nationally televised game, but the San Antonio Spurs came away with a win over the Golden State Warriors anyway. However, the ending of the game has created some controversy.

San Antonio center Tiago Splitter tipped in the game-winning basket with 2.1 seconds remaining. Boras Diaw had attempted a reverse layup that begin falling off the front of the rim, and Splitter was able to tip it in with his left hand. Replay angles from above the basket showed that there was a possibility the ball was still within the cylinder when Splitter touched it.

Tiago-Splitter-tip-in

As SI.com’s The Point Forward noted, goaltending and basket interference plays can be reviewed in the final two minutes of a game only if an official has whistled a violation. Since the officials did not call offensive goaltending, they could not have reviewed the play and reversed the call.

Most importantly, I think that rule needs to be changed. I don’t blame the officials for not calling offensive goaltending, as there’s really no way to tell for certain with a play that close. That’s where replay should come in, and a play like that should be reviewable regardless of what the call was (or wasn’t) on the floor.

Photo via @cjzero

LeBron James blocks Tiago Splitter dunk in nasty fashion (Video)

LeBron James Tiago SplitterLeBron James absolutely ruined Tiago Splitter on an amazing block during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

The Spurs had the ball with the shot clock winding down and ran a pick and roll between Tony Parker and Splitter. Parker passed to Splitter, who was going down the lane, and it looked like Splitter would have a wide open dunk. But LeBron left Kawhi Leonard down low and came out of nowhere to swat Splitter’s dunk like a volleyball player stuffing an opponent at the net. It was absolutely a thing of beauty, and one of those plays that will remain on LeBron’s highlight reel forever.

LeBron followed up the block by assisting on a Ray Allen three, and then by stealing the ball and dunking ferociously on a fastbreak to force the Spurs into a timeout.

What was LeBron thinking on that play?

“Protect the rim,” LeBron told ABC’s Doris Burke. “Tony hit him with a great pocket pass, and Splitter had a runway to the rim. I was jut like, ‘Hey, just make a play. You haven’t done much offensively, so just try to change the game some way defensively. I was happy I was able to get a good block.”

LeBron also had a block on Tim Duncan during the first quarter that was impressive, but nowhere near as amazing as the Splitter block:

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