Game one loss was one of LeBron James’ ‘toughest ever’ he says ahead of NBA Finals resumption
Cavaliers great almost drove his team to a game one win
LeBron James has played in scores of big games, having won three NBA titles and currently playing in the NBA Finals for the eighth consecutive year, but he says the Cleveland Cavaliers’ game one defeat at the hands of the Golden Warriors on Thursday night was “one of the toughest losses I’ve had in my career.”
The Cavaliers lost 124-114 in overtime despite James’ 51 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but the defeat stuck with him and teammate George Hill, who missed a free throw in the final seconds of regulation that might have given Cleveland the win.
Hill said he had trouble sleeping after that loss, and repeatedly watched replays of his missed free throw.
“It was a tough 24 hours not only for G-Hill and for myself but for our whole ball club because we put ourselves in a great position to be successful,” James told reporters on Saturday.
The teams, which are squaring off for the NBA title for the fourth straight season, with the Warriors having won in 2015 and 2017, will play game two on Sunday in Oakland.
James added that game two will be “a new day.”
“I woke up feeling excited about the opportunity for us to get better today, excited about the opportunity that presents itself tomorrow,” James said. “You give yourself a day. If you need to take two days, OK, but today you should feel excited about the opportunity to be better and be great and move forward.”
James, a four-time MVP, also says not to judge his recovery from getting hit in the eye by how it looks. Warriors forward Draymond Green poked James on a first-half drive to the basket.
The injury affected his vision for the rest of the game, James said.
“It doesn’t look better, but the docs told me it’s better. It’s going through a stage of recovery. I’m taking my medication that I’ve been given by the doctors,” he said. “... But it’s an eye. I mean, it’s going to recover as fast as it can on its own.”