LeBron’s painful final seconds in Houston: elbow to face, missed shot to tie

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LeBron James found the final seconds of Miami’s loss to Houston painful. It was a complete contrast with just the night before.

First on Tuesday night there was the play above — with 15 seconds left in the game and the Rockets up three James Harden tried to make an ill-advised pass ahead to Dwight Howard in the front court (the Heat were forced to foul and you pass to Howard?). The result was a turnover, but in the fight for the ball  Howard inadvertently elbowed LeBron in he face. I don’t care what color mask he’s wearing, that is going to hurt if your nose is broken. That’s what he told the Miami Herald.

“It feels like my nose is broken,” James joked after the game.

There had been a report on twitter that LeBron had re-broken his nose on that play, but that is not the case according to the team.

With the turnover Miami got a final shot, and you knew LeBron would take it. During the play Howard got switched on to LeBron after a screen — but that worked for Houston. LeBron could have driven by Howard for a lay up, but LeBron needed a three, and Howard is mobile and long and was able to contest the shot, a 25-foot three that did not fall. Again from the Herald:

“I felt like I had a good look. It was just a little long,” James said.

LeBron had 22 points on the night on 9-of-18 shooting, but was scoreless in the fourth quarter.