Once again we're back to the beginning of the season, and we've just got to find a way to get out of it. It was the 10th time in his career he had fewer than two assists in a game. The Warriors, too, are coming off their third-straight Finals, and though their roster is much better constructed to play defense, they still rank third in defensive rating, giving up 102.5 points per 100 possessions.
But the guy with a knack for getting inside opponents' heads with unthinkable stunts, like blowing in James' ear or giving him a thumb in the side - as television replays showed during the game - played the instigator perfectly.
While Kevin Garnett made some valid points that the Raptors have failed to translate their regular season success to the playoffs, that may not be the case this year.
That love affair has apparently ended as Thompson is not putting in the production that he once did and it started in the 2017 NBA Finals when he was being out-rebounded by Stephen Curry at times. "He's a little dirty", James said. James missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. They caught me on the retaliation.
After James stepped out of bounds while trying to drive to the hoop for the lead, Stephenson ran up next to him to snatch the ball away.
Oladipo's 3 with 2:10 left gave IN the lead for good. The switch went back.
Then, James' desperation 3 bounced high off the rim. The Raptors came into the night with a 1-7 record in their last eight games with the Cavs. Jakob Poeltl had three explosive blocks and was dominating on the boards.
We thought that the Minnesota Timberwolves smashing the Cleveland Cavaliers by 28 was as terrible as it could get.
Handy is the Cavs assistant coach who probably had the closest relationship with Irving.
The win moves the Pacers to 3-0 against Cleveland this year, and keeps IN in the 8th slot IN the East a conference so jumbled that the Pacers are just 2.5 games out of 4th, and 4 games behind Cleveland for the 3 seed. "We've got a lot of vets on this team. You can lose games, but you can't get blown out".
However, James is a family man, and he has said that that will influence his decision.
The Pacers return to action on Sunday night, when they visit the Phoenix Suns to open their Western Conference road trip. They busied the event-level hallways of Air Canada Centre, encircling LeBron James and asking various Raptors to describe their level of amazement over James' ability to still be so ridiculously dominant after 15 years in the league.
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