LeBron James recalled in near-perfect detail the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Celtics put the Cavaliers away for good in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
USA TODAY Sports
Life comes at you fast.
Just a couple days ago, Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris was confident — if not cocky — about his ability to shut down Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.
Before the Eastern Conference Finals started, he put himself on high ground:
“Personally,” Morris said. “I’m probably the best guy defending him in the league outside of Kawhi (Leonard).”
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To Morris’ credit, he showed up in Game 1. He and the Celtics held James to just 15 points (5-for-16 shooting) with seven turnovers. After the game he slighted the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors for being unable to hang with James in the first two rounds.
“Them dudes can’t guard. That’s what I did pick up,” Morris said, bluntly.
He was on top of the basketball smack-talking world. Then came Game 2 and a refocused James, who, remember, is arguably the greatest basketball player to ever live.
James put together the best quarter of his postseason career: 21 points.
By the third quarter, James had 32 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Apart from struggling at the free-throw line (3-for-8), he was nearly perfect.
Apparently, Indiana and Toronto aren’t the only teams that can’t guard LeBron James at his best.
You can find IndyStar sports producer Dakota Crawford on Twitter: @DakotaCrawford_.