LeBron, Cavs Try To Shake 'Weird' Loss In Game 3 To Celtics

Sheri Evans
May 24, 2017

In the moments after the Celtics completed a remarkable comeback victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday night, forward Kelly Olynyk made a decision to get Thomas on a FaceTime connection to celebrate. On his way to the postgame news conference, the superstar got into an exchange with a fan who heckled him about his rough night.

Little did they know, they were a lackluster LeBron James performance and a friendly bounce away from making this thing a series again.

James left the game with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter with four fouls. "As soon as the ball went out of his hands, you kind of knew that shot was going to go in because of how the game was just played throughout the second half". Me personally, I didn't have it. His teammates celebrated with Thomas via FaceTime following their Game 3 win. But me personally, I didn't have it. "That's what I've got to say about my performance".

There wasn't much to gush about, that's for sure.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, via "Mike & Mike", James and Roda have "a history dating back to LeBron's first stint in Cleveland". The point total was stunning considering it broke James' streak of scoring at least 30 points in eight straight playoff games. The Celtics still trail 2-1, and while they won without Thomas in Game 3, winning three of the next four without him will be a monumental task. And most egregiously, he had six turnovers. Cavs coach Tryonn Lue didn't even call a timeout.

But was this worst postseason game of the 210 LeBron has played? But Celtics' fans will understand why the team must trade its most famous and popular player if they are to hang another banner at the Garden. It's not something we're going to hang our head on. The Celtics appeared ready to go down meekly after losing star point guard Isaiah Thomas but instead posted a final-second 111-108 victory on Sunday to trim their deficit to 2-1. It was his shocking inactivity in the fourth quarter against the Celtics, given his historic efforts against them and Jae Crowder - who typically defends James.

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"It seems like you only ask questions when we lose", James said. "We have to move the ball around and get continuous stops on the defensive end". We couldn't get out in transition a lot.

When playoff basketball begins, teams play harder and coaches coach smarter. But it was a play that I knew that if they helped, Jonas would be wide open, and he was able to knock down his shot. Freezing Boston defenders with his dribble and driving to the basket whenever he wanted, Irving made six layups, two three-pointers and a free throw in a dizzying span of 4:48. James had been leading the team in win probability added before that (plus-13 percent per game) and ranks eighth overall this postseason.

James wasn't happy and carried some of that into his press conference.

"Some adversity is all part of the postseason", he said. But it's citing low-level athletic success as something that alone makes you qualified to comment on a dominant professional athlete like James that feels insane. But we've seen stranger things happen before.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have the best basketball player on the planet, and they also have a "lethal" version of a timeless basketball classic in their playbook - the pick-and-roll.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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