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LeBron James commits two costly turnovers in final minute of Game 2 loss to Pacers

May 25, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers' Hill grabs the ball after he was fouled by Miami Heat's James as Miami's Chalmers and Wade look on during Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami

LeBron James won Game 1 against the Pacers in the final moments, with two drives to the basket for scores in the final 10 seconds of overtime.

To say he lost Game 2 in a similar manner would be overstating things a bit, but James did commit two turnovers on consecutive possessions with under a minute to play that ultimately led to the Pacers coming away with the 97-93 victory.

As you might imagine, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wasn’t willing to pile on his superstar for those late-game miscues afterward.

“It happens,” Spoelstra said. “They made two good defensive plays with deflections. I would run that again, if I had the opportunity again. So would LJ. That happens. You have to give them credit for the active hands.  The possession before, if the ball would have gotten to Ray, I think he would have had a very good, clean look at it.  And those are the breaks of the game.  We just have to be a little more efficient going down the stretch.

“We had more opportunities than those two, even in transition and a couple of the turnovers and a couple of the looks that we took weren’t necessarily our best opportunities.”

Miami did have additional chances, but obviously things get magnified over a game’s final few possessions. James tried to explain from his perspective what went wrong as he tried to make plays down the stretch.

“First one, Ray came to set a pick‑and‑roll in the first one, and David West basically just put his hands up and he was able to get his hands on the ball,” James said. “A little careless on my part obviously.

“And then the second go‑round, I was able to get in the lane, I spun and I seen Ray once again wide open and I was careless once again.  I had the lane for Ray.  I maybe should have jump‑passed it over the top.  I tried to throw it through the lane, and they was able to get the hand on it again. Can’t happen in that situation. Especially being down two in a big game.”

The second possession was particularly interesting, since it featured Pacers big man Roy Hibbert defensively. Much was made of Hibbert being benched late in overtime of Game 1, but he was there this time. And with Chris Bosh on the strong side where James chose to drive, Hibbert was able to be there to help, which forced James to try to kick it back out instead of trying to make a difficult finish over two defenders.

James finished with an amazing statistical line of 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. But the five turnovers is what he’ll focus on more than anything else as the series shifts to Indiana for the next two games, and while James wasn’t happy with his performance, he promised to atone for his costly mistakes.

“Very disappointing, of course, for me,” James said. “That’s the first thing I always look at on the stat sheet is my turnovers. I had two key ones at a big point of the game. I am very disappointed in my judgment and my plays down the stretch. But I’ll make up for them.”

  1. dolphins4 - May 25, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    LeChoke is coming up small in big games.This guy isn’t even close to being as good as Michael Jordan was.Jordan didn’t choke LeChoke does.The Heat are going to lose this series in 5 games.

  2. patfic15 - May 25, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Clutch.

    • 1972sxwife - May 25, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      lmao

  3. creek0512 - May 25, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Ball don’t lie!

  4. creek0512 - May 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    How about an article about Wade’s intentional elbow to Stephenson’s head? If the roles were reversed Stephenson would be getting crucified by the media and suspended by the league. You guys just pretend like it disn’t even happen.

    • dondada10 - May 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      Wade is one of the dirtiest players in the league. He does stuff like that all the time.

      They should one replay, and the analysis was that Wade must have been trying to jump over Stephenson. Give me a break.

    • bucrightoff - May 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      The only thing worse was the TNT guys trying to cover saying it was unintentional and a basketball play (what?).

      • gmsingh - May 25, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Thankfully Steve Kerr got to say that off camera so we couldn’t see his nose growing.

    • 1972sxwife - May 25, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      He’s the dirtiest player in the league, period! He dislocates a guys elbow by tripping him after he blows bye him, breaks Kobe’s nose as he’s getting schooled in an all star game, and don’t forget the bitchiest move when he kicked a guy in the junk. Just like the Heat fans, classless & pathetic!

  5. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 25, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    As soon as TNT showed the “LeBron Playoff Buzzer Beaters” montage with about a minute left in the game I thought, “Oh $#!+”. Just like the “Ray Allen Will Never Miss This Feee Throw” whammy TNT pulled in Game 1.

    I’m only 70% joking about this by the way.

    • acdc363 - May 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      LOL I know you’re joking but I know exactly what you mean! My mom calls announcers joners when they do that haha.

    • cantonbound13 - May 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Very short montage. They had to throw in games against the Wizards & lottery Magic team to actually assemble something. Face it you saw the true LeChoke last night. That was priceless!

    • hickoryhigh - May 25, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Although LeBron’s layup at the end of game one was truly clutch, I think the only reason they did the buzzer beater montage is because they didn’t have enough time to show all the times he has choked. I mean, you’d basically have to show that whole Celtics game where he gave up. Right?

      • bigmeechy74 - May 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        Yep. All the Lebron haters come out to play. It must have been so easy for him on those loaded cavs teams. He was in his early 20s just trying to integrate himself in to the game. He didn’t need to do too much with that explosive supporting cast he had to play alongside…. Ok enough sarcasm. Those cleveland teams were horrendous. It was amazing that he ever drug them to the finals in the first place. Then he is expected to go through the playoffs basically playing 1 on 5. The second best player on the team was MO WILLIAMS!!! Even “his airness” couldn’t have taken that cavs team anywhere. People forget that Jordan couldn’t get to the finals either until Pippen and phil came along.

    • 1972sxwife - May 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      Shortest montage I’ve ever seen. TNT had 10 seconds to kill.

  6. saint1997 - May 25, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Hey I wasn’t around when MJ was in his prime – out of curiosity did he cop lots of criticism from the media (i.e. at the level of LeBron and sometimes Kobe) back when he was playing?

    • rtfinch - May 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      you mean like when he retired the first time and people said it was because david stern forced him out because of his gambling. or when his dad was killed and there were quiet comments that it was people that went after him for gambling debt? because it wasnt about him choking in the finals, he never did that. or chasing away teammates and coaches, he didnt do that either.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - May 25, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        Kevin Loughery & Doug Collins?

      • rtfinch - May 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        didnt jordan hire doug collins to coach the wizards? dont think he ran him out the door.

    • money2long - May 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      what media ? haa, media back then pales in comparison to today. so, i’m willing to say no, MJ didn’t cop lots of criticism from the media that kobe, lebron and other stars see today. heck, today’s media is the reason we know battier got a truckload of beer.

    • patfic15 - May 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      No. He was great. Consistently. He struggled the right way. Grew with a great team under a great coach. Arrogant? Yes. “Decision” like moments? Hell no. Jordan was a man before he came into the league. Lebron is growing up at 28.

    • davidly - May 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      What rtfinch said (with the added bonus of the Q.E.D. by 1972wasalongtimeago below that).

      Plus, at this point in his career Jordan had just returned from retirement after helping lead his team to three straight championships. Upon his return, the media did highlight his having turned the ball over on a crucial play that cost his team the series against the Magic (Nick Anderson stole it from behind).

      Of course, his teams returned the following season with the first of its next three straight championships, and Jordan’s fourth, fifth, and sixth finals MVP awards.

      But, yes, he was dogged by the media for his shortcomings; it’s just they weren’t normally on the court.

    • gmsingh - May 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      MJ was a different player. He was probably the most competetive guy in the history of sports. Back in the day, players actually seemed to be channelling Vince Lombardi’s “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Every time I hear LeBron talk about “winning championships” it sounds like he’s reading off of a script. I still think the guy has the best skill set of any basketball player ever, but mentally he’s somewhere in the middle of the pack in his desire to actually win.

    • bigmeechy74 - May 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      No. Everyone worshiped Jordan. And they still do. Even though all evidence points to him being one of the biggest pricks on earth. Also the refs REALLY loved Jordan. If a defender breathed on him it was a flagrant foul. I’m not saying he wasn’t the greatest player ever, because he was. But for people to pretend he didn’t get favorable calls CONSTANTLY and to not acknowledge that he is a jerk is pretty ridiculous.

  7. steventimm - May 25, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    LJ needs some help with his grammar #embarrassing

  8. spideysdog - May 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    saint1997,

    the media has always been critical. in the old days it was the way to sell papers, and in the era of media now, it’s to get clicks on hyperlinks.

    example:

    “LeBron James fumble hands cost Heat game, home court and…… SERIES?”

    or

    “Heat lose tight game that once again features a +70% shooting performance from the King”

    which title do you think is getting more clicks and reads?=

    the reality is there is no such thing as a perfect player at any sport in any era.

    MJ took heat for being a ball hog, for partying relentlessly, often in Vegas, the night before big games, and for being ridiculously tough on teammates. Was it the level LBJ takes? probably not. but media wasn’t a “now” thing then. a lot of us got our news from the evening news or the paper the next day.

    • saint1997 - May 25, 2013 at 9:43 PM

      yeah thanks, that is what I assumed. It seems nowadays everyone remembers him as this deified figure but I couldn’t imagine that being the case while he was playing

  9. Miami305 - May 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Key phrase from the article, “I’ll make up for them.” Watch out Pacers! King James is mad…at himself! He will come back with a fury next game and demolish the Pacers!

  10. dadawg77 - May 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Jordan took heat, just look at the book “Jordan Rules” The title want a compliment but the strategy used by Pistons against the Bulls.

  11. 13arod - May 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    the first time i saw lebron make a mistake he will make up for it

  12. 40thstreetblack - May 25, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Doug Collins did himself in by sleeping with the daughter of a high ranking Bulls executive quiet as kept.

  13. llindy86 - May 25, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Not gonna get many better games from James. If he’s gonna “make up for it,” I’m sure as hell not worried at this point as a Pacers fan. We’ve handled everything just fine.

  14. waynegretsky77 - May 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    of course, he only gives three quarters when you ask him change for a fourth quarter. Most famous ba choker ever and very whiny .never takes responsibility.Q: How do you know when it’s Lebron James’ Birthday? A: Everyone gets to leave work 12 minutes early.

    • cullenand99 - May 26, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      *Crickets*

  15. kanemoney - May 25, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Ugh… MJ had teammates … Who were pretty good. Everyone seems to forget that.

  16. grumpyoleman - May 26, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    When does the Wade suspension start

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