What did matter to Thompson was how Cleveland responded to Boston's physicality overall.
Despite the injury, James finished with a game-high 42 points as part of a triple-double, which included 10 rebounds and 12 assists. He started off the first quarter scoring 21 of the team's 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 4-of-7 on long-distance 3s. His 42 points marked his fifth 40-point game of this postseason, but he got very little support from his teammates tonight. Even when the Celtics forced him into tough looks, he still knocked them down. "But I don't think it.it didn't affect my game after that". "I'm not a Chatty Patty, so you're going to have to ask him that. You go out and when you lay everything on the line, at the end of the day, you can live with that", he said. The Raptors fell into old habits often against the Cavaliers, slowing down their offense instead of constantly attacking downhill, and because of that, the Cavs had an easier time counterattacking off missed shots and turnovers, which helped to create those mismatches they want and open up lanes.
But of course, as is always the case with Smart, the 11 points he scored didn't tell almost the whole story. Kevin Love was solid with 22 points and 15 boards, but George Hill, J.R. Smith, and nearly every other Cavalier looked disinterested throughout the second half tonight.
Tempers flared with 3:49 to play with Boston leading 97-89. Officials reviewed the play and assessed Smith with a flagrant 1 foul. Smith shoved Morris and the pair had to be separated.
"We have the opportunity go back home and take home court", James said.
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Smith said there was no malicious intent on the play. "I feel like we have the ability to attract one", Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "It wasn't like I was trying to low bridge him or something, just trying to make sure he didn't get it in".
While Smith didn't use any verbiage like "gooning" to describe the Celtics, he said he expected the conference finals to be hard-fought. "It was a good, hard foul".
Led by All-Star big man Joel Embiid and Aussie Ben Simmons, the heir apparent to his throne, the game's greatest player would be handed a shot at continuing his reign atop the National Basketball Association kingdom.
After losing Game 1 at the hands of the Boston Celtics 108-83, a game where James tied his worst ever plus-minus (-32) in a playoff game, the rumours of James' departure popped up again.
After falling short against the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs, the Sixers will regroup with their young core while looking to bolster their stocks with lucrative free-agents.