There was a bit of added intrigue during the Jazz-Cavs game Wednesday night in Cleveland, after LeBron James was asked about Gordon Hayward saying he can no longer be bullied.
James finished with a game-high 26 points, as the surging Cavaliers sent back the visiting Utah Jazz 106-92.
Per the AP:
Shaking off a flu bug that forced him to miss practice Tuesday and that also slowed Kyrie Irving, James added nine assists, seven rebounds and exacted some revenge on Utah’s Gordon Hayward. […] The Cavs improved to 4-1 since the four-time MVP returned after missing eight games with a strained back and knee. Cleveland went just 1-7 without the superstar and now that he’s back, James wasn’t going to let a sore throat, stuffy nose or body aches keep him off the floor.
The Cavs avenged a 102-100 loss to the Jazz on Nov. 5, when Hayward dropped a buzzer-beating jumper after escaping James. There would be no such heroics this time for Hayward, who received an icy stare from James in the third quarter after a vicious dunk the Utah forward could do nothing to stop. James said his glare at Hayward wasn’t intentional. […] “It didn’t matter who it was, it could have been you,” he said playfully to a reporter. “You would have got that same look.”
“I think LeBron can pretty much bully anybody if he wants to,” said Hayward, who had written in his blog after his winning shot that he could hold his own against James. “The point of what I said is that he can’t bully me as much anymore. I’ve just gotten a little stronger. LeBron’s one of the stronger players in the league. You can take that for whatever you want. He’s never said anything to me about any of the comments I’ve made.”