BOSTON -- Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James fouled out during overtime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics on Sunday night at TD Garden.
James was whistled for his sixth foul while jockeying for position with Celtics forward Mickael Pietrus with Boston leading 92-91 with 1:51 remaining.
"I don't foul out," James said, according to Fox Sports Florida. "That sixth foul, I wish I would have earned it and it actually would have been a foul."
"We had a couple of guys in foul trouble," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That proved to be costly at the end. That's a shame. You hope that both teams have their guys and may the best team win."
The Heat didn't score after James was disqualified and the Celtics went on to win 93-91, after Heat guard Dwyane Wade missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer in overtime.
"You lose one of your big options," Spoelstra said. "We were running a lot of triggers with him involved, and so we had to evolve and go to something else... We were just trying to survive at that point. At the end you get a chance to win it. After 50-plus minutes and losing the MVP, you'll take that."
"Nothing emotional," Heat guard Mario Chalmers said of James' departure. "We had to switch up our lineup. We had to go a little smaller than we like to."
James also sat out briefly during the fourth quarter after receiving his fifth foul with 5:31 remaining.
"It was five and change in the game when he got his fifth," Spoelstra said. "So at that point you just have to roll the dice and cross your fingers."
This was James' first disqualification from a game due to fouls during the 2011-2012 season. It was just the fourth time in his NBA career that he had fouled out and the first time that he has fouled out of a playoff game.
Celtics forward Paul Pierce also fouled out during overtime.
"It was like chess," Celtics guard Ray Allen said. "They took our queen and we took their queen, so to speak."
James left the game with 29 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block while shooting 12-for-25. He also committed 7 turnovers.
The series is now tied at 2 games apiece.