As an individual, it speaks volumes when he's in big moments like last night (Thursday against Cleveland in a game televised by TNT). "We know we can get back to that".
The Pacers have had numerous comebacks this season, and on Friday night, they did it again. Instead, he made the free throw which allowed the Cavs to throw the ball the length of the floor, but the Pacers were able to hold on.
The Cleveland Cavaliers watched a 22-point first-quarter lead evaporate and suffered their third consecutive loss as they dropped a 97-95 decision to the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday night.
James was understandably frustrated, and he was caught on cameras in the first half of the game lashing out at his team-mates and assistant coach Phil Handy, after Pascal Siakam dunked with little resistance. Forward Serge Ibaka will return for Toronto after serving a one-game suspension for fighting Miami's James Johnson.
Those circumstances didn't seem to faze the Raptors, who have won six of their last seven despite playing their third game in four nights.
Cleveland regained the lead and extended it to six points, 95-89, with 3:57 to play. The 29-year old center is averaging 11.8 points, 14.9 rebounds and one block per game for the 20-21 Los Angeles Clippers.
Cleveland has a respectable 26-15 straight up (SU) record, but they have a hard time covering the spread (12-27-1 against the spread (ATS)).
Whatever the reason, the Cavs were inconsistently consistent.
Cavaliers: "We come out with low energy in the fourth quarter", James said.
And we can't mention Stephenson and James without throwing it back to Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference finals when Stephenson blew in James' ear. Instead, they are getting a lot of production from their bench, most recently from second-year player Fred VanFleet who posted a career-high 22 points against Cleveland.
Thompson, who is due $36 million over the next two seasons, is now averaging just 5.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in 19 minutes of action per game. Dinwiddie made the go-ahead basket with 11 seconds left as the Nets snapped a three-game losing streak. In the first quarter he was 0-for-6, making him 2-for-18 in that period in his four games, including 0-for-8 on 3-pointers.
Darren Collison led the Pacers in scoring with 22 points followed by Victor Oladipo with 19 points. "We didn't really push, didn't really attack", Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said. "He understands. You're going to have some teams who maybe try to bait him into doing different things and he's got to be level-headed".