The final, gawdy statline of 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists in 47 minutes of action doesn’t accurately reflect just how much LeBron James struggled at the beginning of Game 3 Sunday night.
James bricked his first ten shot attempts against the Atlanta Hawks, in a dramatic 114-111 overtime win that pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to the brink of the NBA Finals.
Per the NEOMG:
James opened with a scoreless first quarter. This was the 171st postseason game for James, and only the third time he failed to score in the first quarter. Yet, the Hawks had only a 24-21 lead. […] “My teammates kept me afloat,” said James. “I was 0-of-9 in the first quarter … we were in the game because of my teammates. They picked me up.”
James missed his first 10 shots, then made 14-of-27 to finish with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists. It was an amazing triple-double. […] “I gave everything I had tonight,” he said. “My teammates did (too) … we played our tails off.”
“The experience over the years has helped me get to this point,” said James. “My game is so much better than when I was younger … the mental side of the game.” […] James loves this team. He praises Tristan Thompson for his relentless rebounding. He embraces Dellavedova for his defense. He relishes the all-around performance of Iman Shumpert: “He rebounds. He defends whoever you need him to defend and he gives us 15 points.” He keeps talking about defense, about “guys answering the call.”