Lebron doesnít expect repeat
By Melissa Trujillo
BOSTON ó LeBron James says he wonít miss baskets like he did in the series opener between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. Neither, James believes, will Paul Pierce or Ray Allen.
James missed all but two of his 18 shots from the field Tuesday night in Clevelandís 76-72 loss, including a layup that would have tied it with 9 seconds remaining. Pierce and Allen also went a combined 2-for-18, with Allen failing to score for the first time in 852 games.
iI canít play no worse than I did last night,î James said Wednesday.
iYou donít expect those guys to have off nights like that. I donít expect myself to have an off night like I did.î
After Tuesday night, though, everyone expects tonightís Game 2 and the rest of the Eastern Conference semifinals series to be a bruising, stifling fight between two top defenses.
iYouíre going to have to run through a brick wall to get to 100 points it seems like, the way these two teams play defense,î Pierce said. iYou just expect it to be a defensive struggle throughout.î
It was Tuesday.
With two-thirds of Bostonís Big Three nearly shut out, it took Kevin Garnett to bail out the Celtics. He finished with 28 points, including the go-ahead basket with 21 seconds left.
iOffensively, we were a terrible-looking group,î Pierce said. iWe turned the ball over 23 times, shot 40 percent from the field. We did just about everything wrong you could do offensively, and what happens, the defense comes and saves the day.î
James, meanwhile, had one of the worst shooting nights of his career, leading his team to a miserable 30.7 shooting percentage. James has made fewer than two baskets just one, on Dec. 29, 2004, when he missed all five of his shots against Houston.
James refused, though, to call it his worst game ever.
iNo, nah, nah. Itís not the worst. At the end of the day we still had a chance to win the ball game,î James said. iI wasnít satisfied with the way I played but saying itís my worst game, nah.î
Cleveland coach Mike Brown said the Cavs must do a better job moving the ball across the court and spacing themselves to get better looks at the basket.
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