The Cavaliers have won eight straight, and are beginning to look like the team most expected when LeBron James and Kevin Love joined forces this past summer.
But Tuesday night’s win over the Raptors was anything but easy. It was the second night of a back-to-back set, with the game before coming in Brooklyn with all kinds of non-basketball distractions.
Cleveland trailed by as many as 14 points in this one, and was down by 10 with under eight minutes left. So when LeBron James hit a huge three with 48 seconds remaining to put his team up for good, his show of emotion for the home crowd was completely understandable.
The crowd went bananas, and so did James for a split second. He yelled something to the packed stands as he ran back toward the bench after a Toronto timeout.
What was he saying?
“I don’t know,” James said. “It’s the heat of the battle. It was a good shot.” …
Didn’t I see you saying, “That’s what I came here for?” I asked James after most of the media had dispersed.
“Yeah,” James said with a smile. “Yeah, that’s what I said.”
This is reminiscent of Paul Pierce in the playoffs last season, when he said “That’s why they got me here” following a shot to beat the Raptors.
The difference, of course, is that Pierce was traded to the Nets. LeBron chose the Cavaliers, so it’s not surprising to see him placing a little extra emphasis on moments like these.