With the score tied at 95 on Wednesday night, Oladipo -- who shot just 2-of-15 in the Game 5 matchup -- drove the left side of the key and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block. The play was reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo, however, thought his shot hit the backboard first and that goaltending should have been called. TV replays showed the ball appeared to hit the glass before James touched it.
"I got a step on him. Felt like I even got grabbed on the way to the rim," said Oladipo, who finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds. "I tried to shoot a layup, it hit the backboard, then he blocked it. ... It was a goaltend. It's hard to even speak on it. It just sucks, honestly. It really sucks. We fought our way back, we tied the game up, that layup is huge."
James, who had 44 points and finished two assists shy of a triple-double, smiled when asked about the play.
"I definitely thought it was a goaltend," James said with a laugh. "Of course I didn't think it was a goaltend. I try to make plays like that all the time, and I mean he made a heck of a move, got me leaning right and he went left and I just tried to use my recovery speed and get back up there and make a play on the ball. And I was able to make a play."
The play was never reviewed, as a referee's whistle is required in order to trigger a review.
NBA Senior Vice President of Replay & Referee Operations Joe Borgia offered his take in an appearance on NBA TV on Wednesday night:
"Our rule is once the ball touches the glass, a defender cannot touch it," Borgia said. "... But in order to use replay, you must call goaltending on the court. And no call was made on the court, therefore they could not come over and look at it.
"In super slow motion, you just see the ball hit the glass, and maybe come off an inch and that's when LeBron got it. Like I said, once the ball touches the basketball, defenders cannot touch it and unfortunately James did."
After grabbing the rebound of the blocked shot and calling a timeout, the Cavs inbounded the ball to James, who buried a 3-pointer to give the Cavs a 98-95 win and a 3-2 series lead.
Although that 3-pointer still would have been enough for a Cavs victory if goaltending had been called, the non-call still didn't sit well with the Pacers.
"Give him credit where credit is due. The 3 was big-time. Definitely huge," Oladipo said. "But who's to say they even run that play? We don't know what happens. It's unfortunate. It really sucks that they missed that [goaltending call]."
"We can look at the replay," Pacers forward Lance Stephenson said. "Clearly, clearly a goaltending."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.