James couldn’t’ replicate his 46-point outburst from Game 2 in the Cavaliers’ 92-90 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday, but he still came close to triple-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
It still wasn’t enough to take the series lead though, as James’ supporting cast offered little help to fend off a second-half comeback by Indiana.
However, James wasn’t interested in pointing the finger at his teammates afterwards.
“What are you guys looking for? You think I’m going to throw my teammates under the bus. I’m not about that. Guys have just got to play better, including myself,” James said in response to a question suggesting he needs more help.
“I had six turnovers tonight. I was horrible in the third quarter. Couldn’t make a shot. If I make some better plays in the third quarter, then the lead don’t slip. We know we’ve all got to play better as a collective group.”
Cavaliers' LeBron James after Game 3 loss: "What are you guys looking for? Are you guys thinking I'm going to throw my teammates under the bus? I'm not about that. Guys just got to play better, including myself. ... I was horrible in the third quarter." pic.twitter.com/ZIYYpPKxgJ— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 21, 2018
It’s been painfully obvious James and the Cavaliers have severely missed Kyrie Irving’s playmaking and ability to shoulder some of the offensive burden.
Kevin Love, the second All-Star on Cleveland’s roster, had his best effort of the series in Game 3 with 19 points on 7-of-13 from the field, but hasn’t been able to fill the sidekick role in the same way Irving did, being used more as a spot-up shooter.
The rest of the Cavaliers are lacking in the kind of firepower that would take pressure off of James, making Cleveland almost fully reliant on LeBron to carry the offence nearly every minute of the game.
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