It was a situation/angle/trend that was shoved in our faces and rammed down our windpipes the second the clock struck zeroes on the Cleveland Cavaliers 25-point loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1. There were heat maps, data, bar graphs and slide show presentations. It was inevitable.
LeBron James was going to take over in Game 2.
Losing five Game 1 contests since coming back to Cleveland, not only were James-led teams 5-0 in those series, The King averaged 33.2 points, 11 rebounds and 8.8 assists in subsequent Game 2s.
LeBron was right on cue and then some, finishing the contest with 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Still, it wasn’t enough.
That majestic stat line fell short on Tuesday as the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in a 2-0 hole following a 107-94 loss.
It had all the makings of a LeBron game early.
There are times when James hits that second gear that makes his game so aesthetically sexy; almost as if he has all the cheat codes to take over a game, but chooses not to do so on a regular basis because he wants to even the playing field.
Once the ball tipped Tuesday, James was clicking up, B, down, X, up, left, RT, X, down, down and every cheat code was unlocked.
He started off the first quarter by surpassing his full Game 1 point production, posting 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, not to mention he was hitting dumb shots like these.
But what separates this Celtics teams from others who have bent the knee to James in the past is they just aren’t scared.
A 9-point Cavaliers lead in the third fell by the wayside and in the blink of an eye, the sparkplug Celtics took a 7-point lead into the fourth and never looked back.
It’s tough to point the finger at James when you get 40-point performances on the road. Maybe it’s still a matter of not getting enough help, or maybe the Celtics just have the perfect blueprint to expose the Cavs.
Either way, Game 2 LeBron showing up and leaving with a loss spells trouble for the Cavaliers, who are two more losses away from being bounced out of the postseason.
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