LeBron James now 1-5 in Game 1 of Finals, but won both titles after losses
LeBron James put up a superhuman effort, scoring a NBA Finals career-high 44 points (albeit on a career-high 38 shots), but the Cleveland Cavaliers still came up short in its Game 1 showdown with the Golden State Warriors, losing in overtime by a score of 108-100.
Given the loss and the potentially devastating injury to Kyrie Irving — the point guard was on crutches following the game — the Cavaliers and their fans have every reason to feel a bit down and dejected on Friday.
But not all hope is lost. Those looking for encouragement can find solace in the fact that despite falling to 1-5 in the first games of NBA Finals, James won both his NBA titles — both with the Miami Heat — after dropping a Game 1, according to Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Joe Vardon.
Despite his huge scoring outburst, James stressed he and every other Cavalier — especially if Irving cannot “will” (a term he used heading into Game 1 about his mindset in overcoming his many injuries) himself through the pain to play — must step it up to avoid going down two-games-to-none to the Warriors.
“We all have to be better, including myself,” James said. “I don’t think I was great. I’ve got to do better things out on the floor to help us be more precise offensively. I’ve got to communicate a little bit more defensively to help our team get over the hump.
“It’s not about me. It’s not about the next guy. It’s about all of us.”
Irving is expected to undergo an MRI on Friday to see if he suffered a new knee injury or if the tendinitis in his left knee simply is flaring up. James acknowledged it would be devastating if Irving cannot play.
“Seeing him walk out of the locker room on crutches just now, that’s a tough blow for our team,” he said.
It may look dire now for the Cavaliers given the circumstances, but as noted above, James has been in this position before … and managed to win a couple titles despite an uphill climb following a Game 1 loss.