'He's human': Cavs coach defends LeBron after 'weird' loss

It was on so many levels the ideal storm for the Boston Celtics in Game 3 which ended with Avery Bradley getting a friendly bounce or two - OK, it was four bounces to be exact - that would be the difference in Boston's 111-108 Game 3 win, which cut Cleveland's lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.

Cleveland leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game Four in Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday.

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio - LeBron James had little interest in rehashing his 11-point performance in the Cleveland Cavaliers' Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics on the morning of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. Without Isaiah Thomas in the lineup - usually something that makes them 5.7 points per 100 possessions worse overall - Marcus Smart had the best game of his career, Kelly Olynyk contributed with 15 points off the bench and Jonas Jerebko scored double-figures on a ideal 4-for-4 shooting from the field in 13 minutes of action.

Had the Celtics put forth the effort and execution that they did in Game 3 in the first two games of this series, they might not be in the position that they are in now.

James then scored 15 of the Cavs 25 points in the fourth quarter. give him 34 points for the night.

Trying to figure out why James had rabbit ears or why he was so combative over a reasonable question is as confounding as the way LeBron disappeared at such a crucial moment while being held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Then he was doubled in the second one and made the kick-out to an open Irving, who drove and went for a layup that missed instead of finding Love in the corner all alone. You understand that I put in a lot of work to my craft. He finished with 11 points, six rebounds, six assists and six turnovers. "We're going be the toughest team". Sunday's Game 3 win was a plot twist even M. Night Shyamalan didn't see coming. "I'm not going to criticize him one bit", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after his team won on a late three-point shot by Avery Bradley. For those who want to bring up Shaquille O'Neal as a negative against Bryant, no player has won titles without great teammates. "They had their way offensively in the first half". Cleveland lost the first two games of the series and eventually lost the series in 7 as the Celtics went on to win the title. But incredibly, against a team that can't keep him from basket, HE shot zero free throws.

"I think it's great", James said. When he gets going like that, he's tough to stop.

"No blame", Lue said. He was testy after Sunday's game and then avoided reporters on Monday to leave his teammates and coach Tyronn Lue to explain his awful performance "No blame", Lue told reporters.

"I'm sure he'll be a coach, once he's done playing, because not a lot of players have that, and he needs that", said Horford.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) goes up for a shot between Boston Celtics' Kelly Olynyk (41) and Jae Crowder during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Cleveland. This is a whole different deal, however, facing the defending champions without their own best player in Thomas.

"We have guys who have chips on their shoulders", Stevens said.

Why have we not seen Channing Frye in this series (with the exception of garbage time in Game 2)?

Had Boston lost Game 3, this series being over would have been a mere formality with no team in National Basketball Association history has ever rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to advance to the next round of play. "He can play 1-5, rebounds the ball well, can really pass, and when he gets to scoring the ball like he was (Sunday) night it's just handsome to see".

"Michael Jordan sat back at the end of this game and said, 'Really?" "We were getting good shots on offense and playing with great goal, and on defense I thought we were much better than the score indicated".

  • Julie Sanders