Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Sports | By Angel Morales

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

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

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the reigning National Basketball Association champions and, with a 21-point lead midway through the third quarter in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday night, were on the verge of winning a league-record 14th consecutive postseason game.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Cleveland.

If only LeBron James were as aggressive in Game 3 as he was before and during his postgame news conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers would be one victory away from a third straight trip to the NBA Finals as opposed to being forced to make a trip back to Boston for Game 5.

LeBron James has scored at least 25 points in 10 of 11 games this postseason and leads all remaining 2017 NBA Playoff players with 32.2 points per game.

More alarmingly, James was unable to conjure one of his trademark rallies in the 4th quarter as the Celtics began to sense a vital win.

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The 6-foot-10 Love knew his job was to get the ball off the backboard and into the hands of Irving and James. Tristan Thompson scored 18 points. The difference of the game was just three points, and it came down to the finals seconds of the game. With.1 seconds left on the clock, there was no protest for the refs to put more time on the clock. And most egregiously, he had six turnovers. "We're going be the toughest team".

The Cavaliers outscored the Celtics 65-42 in the second half, thanks to Irving's playoff career high in points.

Bradley's shot from the left wing - off a play designed by coach Brad Stevens - bounced on the rim four times before going down. He got into shoving matches with a few Cavs, basically calling out Kevin Love for his Humpty-Dumpty performance while in shoving match with Jerebko. For a guy who played great for five straight months, he's got to have a bad game sooner or later. The C's shot 45.5 percent from the floor with 17 assists, 17 rebounds and only three turnovers in the first half. "It's going to be hard, but if we're able to do that and guard the three, I like our chances".

For two days we've heard of all the feats that this Cavs team had accomplished, including the improbable sweep through their competition and insane rest that LeBron James and company and have.

The loss ended the champions' 13-game post-season winning streak. "We couldn't get stops".

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"No blame. We're all to blame", Lue said Monday of James's display. 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. "But like I said (following Game 3), I'm not going to be critical of the best player in the world". James asked the male patron, who responded by telling LeBron that he played Div. III basketball at a local liberal arts college.

The stretch in the third quarter that allowed the Celtics to return to the game was key to their win.

Coming into Sunday's contest, the Cavaliers had lost just one game at home to a team from the East in the play-offs dating to 2015. The three-time National Basketball Association champion had three points on 1-for-8 shooting, one rebound and one assist while playing 22 minutes.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: James was on a tear with eight consecutive 30-points efforts and was averaging 34.3 points before he basically disappeared in the second half by missing eight of nine shots and finishing 4-of-13 from the field.

"Our guys are itching to play", he said. "So we've got to be a lot better, for sure". He's a really good defender. So I thought he was pretty darned good. He's a much different player now, especially after his epic seven-game performance last June against Golden State.

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