LeBron James calls out reporter after poor performance in loss to Celtics

Doug Mendoza
May 23, 2017

The Boston Celtics put a stop to it on Sunday with an improbable victory just hours after announcing their top player is done for the season.

LeBron James, who seemed oddly detached throughout the evening, had one of his most forgettable playoff games ever. He was struggling against the Cavaliers, scoring just two points on 0-for-6 shooting in Game 2 after putting up 17 points in Celtics' Game 1 loss on Wednesday.

Without Thomas, the Celtics will have to play the point guard position by committee. The Celtics did a better job defensively, with Jae Crowder recovering from screens to keep Kelly Olynyk from getting isolated with the best player in the world as much as he did in Games 1 and 2.

Bradley finished with 20 points, making 8 of 23 field goal attempts including 3 of 8 from beyond the arc.

James was ineffective, scoring just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting with six turnovers. Cleveland led by as many as 21 points in the third quarter and looked well on its way to taking a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Game 4 is Tuesday night in Cleveland. But once we were able to get together the next day, we decided that we're just going to go out and play hard, and whatever happens, happens.

"He's human, so he's going to have a night like this", said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue. And as they've continued to play and play better and better and better, they've just risen in their games and with our team. "A lot of people counted us out with Isaiah not being here, and he is a big part of this team". They elected to play him straight up the rest of the time and did a tremendous job of not fouling Thomas when he drove into the paint, forcing him to attempt hard shots. "We couldn't get stops". A Cavs official spokesman confirmed most of the eyewitnesses' account - the "Hiram" quip was reported by ESPN's Brian Windhorst.As for the basketball side of it, James' clunker was as stunning as the Cavs losing to Boston sans Thomas and after two wins by an average of 28.5 points in the series.

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"Everybody had to step up their game tonight, especially with one of our brothers down", Smart said.

"We've got guys that have chips on their shoulders", Stevens added.

And now the Celtics stagger forward without their leading scorer and best playmaker into Quicken Loans Arena to take on the Cavs, who throttled them twice in Boston and have won 13 straight postseason games.

Steven said Thomas pleaded with team doctors to let him back on the court despite the Celtics being down by 40 points in the third quarter.

Boston will be without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who aggravated a right hip injury in Game 2.

"Everybody in this locker room on this team has been told we couldn't do something or had somebody that really didn't believe in us", Smart said.

"We called him on FaceTime, so he got to celebrate with us a little bit", Bradley said. "We got beat bad but it's all about how you rebound, and we bounced back tonight". It's not something we're going to hang our head on. "I think it started with Marcus Smart, how poised he was at the end of the game".

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