Maybe LeBron James needed a couple glasses of wine this time.
When asked after the game about the comments by Steve Kerr and other Warriors that the goal was to wear him down, LeBron denied he was tired and that was one cause of the Warriors’ late run.
“I gave everything that I had, so at times throughout the game I was tired, but that’s just because I was just playing as hard as I could,” LeBron said. “But I was able to get second and third and fourth winds. I don’t contribute as losing this game because we got tired. We missed some shots, and they made some.”
Walking out of Quicken Loans Arena, LeBron said this to Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“I’m drained right now, both mentally and physically,” James said.
These statements are not incompatible — of course LeBron was drained in the hours after Game 3, he couldn’t have played any harder. He had a 39/11/9 night, he was +7 in the game — the Cavaliers were -12 in the 2:23 he was rested. You can pick apart his end-of-game decisions, but that was not where the game was lost (besides, kicking to one of the games great three-point shooters ever in Kyle Korver for a good look at a three is a smart basketball play, the shot just didn’t fall).
LeBron will be ready to go in Game 4, the only question is how the team responds when the inevitable Warriors’ run happens. Does the air come out of the balloon?