Smith thinks LeBron lacked confidence in Cavs loss

Ross Houston
May 26, 2017

Irving took over the game in the second half and finished with 42 points despite a tender ankle, LeBron James added 34 and the Cavaliers moved one win from an nearly inevitable third date in the NBA Finals with the Warriors by rallying to beat Boston 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

The 6-foot-8, 250-pounder played the entire fourth period and did not score.

Jefferson made the claim on "Was It Something I Said" on Fox Sports Ohio after Game 4.

James's no-show was all the more baffling considering he had amassed 68 points in the first two games of the series.

Kevin Love posted his fourth straight double-double (6th of 2017 postseason) with 17 points, including 3-5 (.600) shooting from deep, a playoff career-high 17 rebounds, a playoff career-best five assists, a steal and two blocks in 42 minutes.

Cleveland Cavaliers' James Jones, right, and LeBron James sit on the bench against the Boston Celtics during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Cleveland. "He definitely got a great rhythm going tonight, and I felt like we had a chance to make it harder on him".

While with Miami, he had seven points on 2-for-10 shooting in a May 28, 2014, conference finals game against Indiana. "You move on and hopefully be better the next game".

That rumor has been circulating for a while, that the Clippers' free agent guard wants to win and sees a path to a ring through Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.

Without injured star Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs will surrender in four straight and the hubbub over James' miserable Game 4 showing guarantees he won't disappear in the series again.

"It's fun to watch knowing that when he has bad nights, a lot of times some very, very, very good nights follow", said Cavs forward James Jones, who has been James' teammate the past seven years.

James was asked how he has been able to respond to adversity with success in the past.

While Irving's scoring ignited the Cavs' comeback, it was made possible thanks to Cleveland's defensive effort over the final 24 minutes. "We lost; it happens". Jae Crowder, who suffered a groin strain after slipping on sweat in Game 4, is probable to play, though.

Boston still led 57-47 at halftime, but wanted a larger gap - and maybe even deserved one.

Smith chalked it up to a lack of confidence in James, which is also stunning considering his three championships, four MVPs, and body of work in the playoffs both this season and last (when he brought the Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Warriors in the Finals).

The Celtics also kept James in check on Sunday. "We have to regroup and get back to playing desperate basketball". They came in and they played tough. "It happens. You're not going to win all of the games. I hope we can continue to play with that chip on our shoulder and come out the same way next game". "The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim".

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