The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semi-Final series against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night 97-92. A big reason for Cleveland’s defeat was a relatively poor performance by LeBron James.
James nearly had a triple-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, but he also had a half dozen turnovers. He missed eight of 11 shots in the second half and was held to just seven points.
The Cavaliers certainly missed the injured Kevin Love and the suspended J.R. Smith, but James does not want that to be an excuse.
“I did have an off game,” James told reporters. “If I have a great game my numbers will be a lot different. For me that’s an off game just from the standpoint [that] I’m a very efficient player as far as my shooting and to be 9-of-22, that’s unacceptable. What everybody else says, I don’t really care what everybody else thinks.”
James has led his team back from a 1-0 series deficit four times in his career (twice against the Bulls), but the turnaround needs to start on Wednesday night.
“You can’t go down 0-2 on your home floor going on the road,” James said. “So it’s going to be a tough challenge.”