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NBA: LeBron James should’ve drawn late shooting foul in Cavaliers’ loss to Kings

LeBron James had already begun griping about the Cavaliers’ roster before Cleveland hosted the Kings on Wednesday. But the game offered an opportunity for the Cavs to reverse their on-court struggles and diffuse tension. Instead, they fell in overtime, a result that usually exacerbates problems.

Perhaps, there’d be a different feeling in Cleveland if the game featured correct officiating down the stretch.

LeBron should’ve drawn a Willie Cauley-Stein shooting foul with 1:20 left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Cauley-Stein (SAC) make contact with James’ (CLE) arm that affects his shot attempt.

A correct call would’ve given LeBron, who’s making 70% of his free throws this season and 74% for his career, two attempts from a line. Sure, the Cavs could’ve made more than 17 of the 34 free throws they actually took. But two more tries late in the fourth quarter could’ve made the difference.

Instead, Cauley-Stein blocked LeBron’s shot and secured the defensive rebound. Sacramento took the ball the other way and eventually won in overtime.

Tristan Thompson also got away with a defensive three-second violation in overtime, according to the league, but if LeBron drew the correct whistle earlier, Cleveland might have just won in regulation.