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Frustrated LeBron James says he’ll be good to go for Game 2

Jun 6, 2014, 1:31 AM EDT

LeBron James AP

SAN ANTONIO — LeBron James was angry. And frustrated.

He sat on the bench and watched Game 1 of the NBA Finals slip away from his Heat, his body so cramped up Heat coach Eric Spoelstra wouldn’t let him try to return.

“You know, after I came out of the game, they kinda took off,” LeBron James told a pool reporter allowed to interview him after the game. “And it was frustrating sitting out and not be able to help our team.”

These weren’t the game conditions anybody expected — the temperature inside the AT&T Center kept climbing and climbing throughout Game 1, getting up into the 90s in the fourth quarter. Plus it was humid. A shorted out circuit breaker had shut the air conditioning in the building down — a sold out building that just kept getting hotter and hotter.

It was all too much for LeBron James’ body, which cramped up, pushing him to the bench to watch helplessly as the Spurs went on a 26-9 run to close out the game and take a 1-0 series lead.

“I mean, it’s frustration and anger, but at the same time it’s something that you try to prevent, you try to control,” LeBron said. “I mean, I got all the fluids I need to get, I do my normal routine I’ve done and it was inevitable for me tonight, throughout the conditions, you know, out there on the floor,” LeBron said. I lost all the fluids that I was putting in in the last couple of days out there on the floor. It sucks not being out there for your team, especially at this point in the season.”

LeBron had been slowing down and left the game with 7:31 remaining — he asked out, grabbing his back and clearly cramping and in pain.It was a two-point Heat lead at the time. LeBron got ice, fluids a few minutes of rest and came back in with 4:33 left and his team now down four.

He made a driving layup, it was a two-point game.

Then his left leg cramped up.

“It was the whole left leg, damn near the whole left side,” LeBron said. “I was losing a lot (of fluids) throughout the game. It was extremely hot in the building, you know, both teams, fans, everybody could feel it. I was the one that had to take the shot.”

After making the shot and cramping up he couldn’t even run down the court, he stood there on the baseline unable to walk, forcing the Heat to foul to stop the game (then the Heat players on the court had to come down and get him off the court before the referees forced Miami to use its one remaining timeout).

With LeBron off the court the Spurs got an instant three from Danny Green to spark a 16-3 run that gave them a Game 1 win.

LeBron never returned to the game and with a couple minutes left he limped back to locker room.

But he expects to be good to go for Game 2 Sunday night. He’s happy there are three days off.

“I need it, I need it, I need it,” LeBron said. “We’re going to start tonight, continue to get the fluids in me and get me ready for Sunday. Thankful for the fact that I can get on it tonight, and put myself in a position where I can be out there for my team for the long haul. And sitting on the sideline, you know, if I’m not in foul trouble, is not good for us and not good for me. Look forward to Game 2 and go from there.”

LeBron had a +/- of zero for the game — the Heat played the Spurs even when he was on the court in Game 1. They lost by 15. The Heat have won every playoff series in the big three era where they have lost Game 1, but against these Spurs the Heat cannot afford to go down 2-0.

And to get Game 2, the Heat are going to need a healthy and almost transcendent LeBron.

  1. antistratfordian - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    It’s a tough loss only because the Heat could’ve swept the Spurs if they won this game, which they were on their way to doing. They’ll have to settle for the gentleman’s sweep.

    • limonadamas - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:46 AM

      Let’s just enjoy the series… Anyone who says they can predict what’s going to happen is full of it. Last year was equally unpredictable. Great matchup.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:56 AM

        This series is not as unpredictable as last year. Last year was only unpredictable because the Big 3 weren’t playing very well together. That isn’t the case this year.

        But I expected the Heat to lose Game 1. And I expect them to win Game 2 and Game 3.

      • limonadamas - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:57 AM

        I thought you expect them to win Games 2-5? Don’t backtrack now, anti… ;P

      • realfootballfan - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:23 AM

        Yep, it was a relatively good game one that I hope both teams get better from. Until James got hurt, we were headed for a back and forth down the stretch deal. Hope I see better defense in game two from both side and more paint play from both.

      • bbbmf - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Great comment!

    • realfootballfan - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:21 AM

      You don’t even believe that. Nobody is sweeping anyone in this series. The Heat could have won tonight, but they didn’t deserve to, and Spur fans poking out their chests should feel the same way because their team was just as stinky. Both of these teams are excellent defensive teams, and I didn’t see a lick of it being sustained tonight outside of the Heat’s 3rd quarter, which maybe you can attribute to the conditions, but both need to get back to fundamentals.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:36 AM

        A gentleman’s sweep is still a possibility.

      • florida727 - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        What the heck is a “gentlemen’s sweep”? You either win 4 straight or you don’t. Right now the only one capable of a sweep is San Antonio… and if they do, there won’t be anything gentlemanly about it. Both these teams are too talented to get swept by anybody.

    • thundercocck - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:19 AM

      I doubt the temperature was the only factor. LeBron was probably dehydrated from Antistratfordian sucking his clock dry in the comments section this past week.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:36 AM

        Very original. Stay mad.

      • bball242322 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        LOL that’s awesome thunder. great comment

    • bucrightoff - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:28 AM

      Did you know the Spurs scored 110 points despite turning it over on 22% of their possessions? And that on non-turnover possesions they had an offensive rating of 150 (!!!)? If the Spurs cut the turnovers in half (very possible), they might win game 2 by 30. The only team who was ever getting swept in this series is Miami. Welcome to real basketball and not that Eastern Conference JV ball.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:24 AM

        So the Spurs could score a lot of points if they shoot a high percentage and never turn the ball over. You don’t say.

        Unfortunately, San Antonio averages 12 turnovers on .487 shooting in the playoffs this year – and 15 turnovers on .465 shooting against Miami in the Finals – so expect to see more games that look like that.

        And you don’t fix your turnover problems against Miami – and certainly not in two days. The Spurs had an entire year to fix their turnover issues against the Heat and it’s still a problem.

        And the top teams in the West – the Spurs and the Thunder – aren’t any more difficult for Miami to beat than the Pacers. If fact, the Thunder would’ve been easier.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        HAHAHAHA, the Pacers, a team you spent months slamming, are better than the Thunder? Newsflash: The Pacers aren’t better than the Suns…FYI the Suns missed the playoffs. Jesus the things you’ll said to ride LeBron’s scrotum. Please God give us a sweep so you can disappear forever.

    • m4a188 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:34 AM

      I can’t believe how many idiots post here.

      • patfic5 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        Meanwhile, the 30+ yr old Spurs did just fine.

      • 1historian - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        believe it

    • pacers24 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      Big 3 huh? 4 future hall of famers huh?

      hmm more like big 1 and a bunch of nut swingers… if Bosh, Wade, Allen are really that good they should have stepped up and not let the absence of LeBron mean they go from 7 up to losing by 16

      what an absolute choke job by the entire Heat team

      • soopreme - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:47 AM

        Unfortunately as a Heat fan I agree with you.

      • spursareold - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        The Fade by Wade. He started out 5-5, but finished 3-13 after that.

      • miamatt - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        How the Pacers looking? Oh, right…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:28 AM

        Hey, if that’s the way you see it, then that’s fine. It’s better for LeBron’s legacy if he dragged a group of “nut swingers” to the Finals 4 straight years.

    • cruzan80 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      @anti

      So is a regular sweep…..

    • packergator - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Lebron’s cramping only underscores a problem that the talking heads saw heading into the series – the Heat’s lack of depth. Lebron runs the Miami show while no one Spurs player has to do absolutely everything.

      • bbbmf - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM

        -packergator- Good point. I’ll onlly insert that it’s not so much that he ‘runs the show’ but that his presence emboldens the team and he’s always there…except when he’s not.

        Also, it was obviously a big blow losing James but it shouldn’t have deflated the squad the way it did; the letdown was palpable. The Spurs sensed it and delivered the knockout.

        Lots of ebb and flow last night – hope it’s like that in every game going forward.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:46 AM

        That just underscores how remarkable his first two rings were. You’re basically saying that James won those by himself.

  2. weaselpuppy - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:44 AM

    Still will be listed as “Game time decision-sprained vajay-jay”

  3. jacobk621 - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Old man Duncan seemed to weather the heat conditions just fine !!

    • kclanton80 - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:07 AM

      Old man duncan wasn’t trying to guard tony parker and kawai lenard while also running his teams offense like lebron. Running from post to post and guarding a spot up shooter like bosh is much less taxing.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:56 AM

        ok, parker, manu, D Wade and Allen then…

  4. kghane - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Man, I hated to see Bron go down. Props to San Antonio for their execution in the 4th. Miami looked like a shell of itself with LeBron out. I can only hope for a more competitive 4th quarter in Game 2 (and room temperature)! Great series thus far.

    • 1historian - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Lebron just won himself a HUUGE raise last night.

  5. 32magicman - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:42 AM

    What a cop out complaining about the conditions. Same for both teams. I thought miami had hot weather? Spurs in 4!!

    • jusdre313 - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:51 AM

      dude.. even the spurs know they arent sweeping MIA… back away from the keyboard.. slowly

    • realfootballfan - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:32 AM

      Just like the Heat fan above, you don’t even believe that nonsense. This will be a long series. They aren’t the Thunder, and the Spurs aren’t the Pacers. Expect both teams to come out with different mentalities on the weekend. Had James not gotten hurt, your team very well would have lost home court tonight, and you don’t have to be told, the Heat haven’t lost a series during this era that they lost game 1 in, including the one against the Spurs last year. Just hope the Spurs can fix their turnover problem because the Heat looked way quicker than them all night tonight getting to balls.

      • bball242322 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        Lets not play the “what if” game – lets just look at what is. Spurs won and will win the series

    • antistratfordian - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:50 AM

      Well here’s the deal. The chances of the Spurs winning the first home game in Miami are 0%. So, just as with Pacers in the ECF, Game 2 boils down to a must win situation for San Antonio.

      Some will scoff at that notion, but – again – Miami isn’t losing Game 3. So if San Antonio loses Game 2, the series is going to be 2-1 Miami, with a 3-1 deficit staring the Spurs right in the face. And when you’re at 3-1 the only question remaining is will the Heat win in 5 or 6.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:31 AM

        The chances of LeBron’s nuts not being in your mouth is usually about 0%.

      • johnc44 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        Lebron played 33 minutes.Only Parker 37 & Bosh 34 played more.Maybe Heat fans should be asking why the great Eric Spoelstra played him 32 of the first 40 minutes in those conditions when he has a history of cramping under normal conditions?Maybe if he would have sat more earlier or gotten a IV at halftime he could`ve played at the end?

      • johnc44 - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        antistratfordian,You do understand that any time you throw out 0% or 100% in sports you lose any credibility right?To say the Spurs have a 0% chance to win any game is moronic.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:51 AM

        Fine. 0.01%. Happy?

      • savvybynature - Jun 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        The Spurs won the first game in Miami the last time they met in the playoffs, last season’s Finals.
        Your credibility is at zero, Smigel. Tell us again how objective you are.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:15 AM

        Right, but try to keep up – the Heat were less consistent last year. They lost the first game at home to the Chicago Bulls and LeBron had a hit a game winner to avoid losing the first game at home to the Pacers. So dropping the first game at home to SAS wasn’t as surprising.

        Miami has improved dramatically in that regard.

        But there are differences between going into a Game 1 and going into a Game 3. Those games are played under completely different circumstances. And, btw, LeBron has never lost a Game 3 at home – being 6-0 in those games.

  6. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:51 AM

    Funny how Mr. All-Universe had to beg out while Grandpa Duncan and his walker played more minutes, shot 90%(!!!), and had a double-double.

    • kavika6 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:27 AM

      Don’t try to use the temperature as an excuse. Everyone had to play in the same conditions and the only player that couldn’t hack it was Mr Wonderful. It wasn’t the temperature or Lebron’s absence that allowed the Spurs to shoot the lights out in the fourth quarter.

      • kavika6 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:30 AM

        (Sorry eugenesaxe1, I wasn’t trying to respond to you. You made an excellent comment).

    • antistratfordian - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:39 AM

      Grandpa Duncan doesn’t have to do 1/4 as much as LeBron. He could probably play in 120 degrees with his Treebeard game.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:33 AM

        Kawhi Leonard had more to do than LeBron…how come he didn’t cramp up?

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:26 AM

        He wasn’t doing a darn thing on offense, and he didn’t have to guard and box out centers on defense.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:59 AM

        Tony Parker, Manu, D Wade and Ray Allen don’t play a Treebeard game…

        but come on and say something stupid about how LBJ is diff from those guys in terms of running around the court…

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:32 AM

        Well, he is. That’s part of what makes him so good and why his PER is so high. His motor. He’s always doing something.

      • limonadamas - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Treebeard game… hahaha

        I have to admit, that’s pretty funny.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        Blahblah excuse blahblah.
        Same game, same court, same ball. And LBJs how much younger?

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:16 AM

        Same game, same court, same ball, different levels of exertion.

      • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        Then maybe the younger and stronger LBJ needs to play smarter. Or for a better team.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        No, he doesn’t have to do anything differently.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Do you really have to post 90 comments in every article to defend your boy? Just say, in one post “I have LeBron’s nuts in my mouth, so just know I love him” and that’ll save you and everyone else some time.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        Oh, does it bother you? Good.

  7. Brian Keith Wallen - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    “It felt like I was playing in the European Championships. We never have air conditioning in Europe,” said Tony Parker.

    “I was just focusing on the game and what I could do to help my team. In Europe we’re used to it.”

  8. jason9696 - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    What a baby LeBron is. He would never make it as a hockey player.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:24 AM

      The funniest thing is people saying he could play football. He’s a flopper, complains about physical contact & suffers from menstral cramping.

    • antistratfordian - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:40 AM

      In a chilled room I think he’d be pretty awesome. He’d be great in hockey.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM

        but, but, but they’re hitting me…!

        ref, THAT was a FOUL!!!

      • antistratfordian - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM

        Well he didn’t do that when he played football, so I don’t know why he’d do that in hockey. There are different rules and expectations for each sport.

    • 1historian - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      You’re probably right, but that’s only if he were dumb enough to try.

      Which he isn’t

  9. cantonbound13 - Jun 6, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    Where’s rodgerdodger, leahachima, jimmyjohnson & fake canton? Another disappearing act by the cowards after a loss. SMH .

  10. bbk1000 - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:12 AM

    I do not like Lebron, but I’ll help him out in this case.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Cramps-(-for-Girls)

  11. finsfan71 - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    As the great Jim Mandich would say, “get your azz whipped, say you got your azz whipped.”

  12. ravenswhat - Jun 6, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    Man did this give some grade A fuel for the LeBron haters. They will use this against him regardless of a Heat series win. There go to line will now be “but MJ never left a finals game!” SMH.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Well… truth hurts…

      If he wants to be like Mike… well

      Oh yeah, Mike liked Gatorade…

  13. cruzan80 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    This antistrat…whatever fella is one funny guy. Keep the hits coming sir!

  14. mnsadsportsfan - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Wha! Im hot I have cramps! Wha I thirsty! Wha! Carry me to the bench guys! Wha 😢

  15. patfic5 - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    What about the effect of the heat on Doris Burke? She looked horrible.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      uh… I have several comments I could make…

      but think I’m gonna bite my tongue instead…

  16. robigd - Jun 6, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    This anti guy is the essence of the Miami “fan base”.

    Can anybody explain to me what a gentleman’s sweep is?

    Don’t kid yourself, minus the 2nd half of the 4th, SA played like crap and Miami played well. Pop needs to come back with a better defensive schema against ray allen

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      gentlemen’s sweep, lose game 1 then sweep the next four…

      to be nice and “let” the other team win one game…

    • loungefly74 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      i think anti is a “Lebron” fan. he does not follow a team. which leads me to believe Anti is a girl, a little kid, or just a guy who trolls that has no real platform to stand on.

      • savvybynature - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        She has admitted that she only became a Heat “fan” because they signed Lebron and she thought that made them the best team in the league.
        So, you are correct, the definition of a bandwagon fan.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        jezuz…that is pathetic. jumping from team to team. (s)he said recently being loyal to a hometown team doesnt make sense. dang…zero credibilty with that kid.

  17. jbeagles23 - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    You mean te kawhi Leonard that looked like a pylon covering lebron one on one?

    • robigd - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      Leonard is certainly a better player than he was last year and can give LBJ problems and make him work for his shots if he can stay out of foul trouble. The Spurs real issue here is Ray Allen. They cannot let this guy get hot. Shut down the role players and let the big 3 have their points. Miami thrives off their role players getting hot.

      • urodaddy07 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        The Spurs’ issue was turnovers

  18. willkill4caffeine - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    I’ve run cross country, track, and played basketball my entire life, so I’ve suffered my fair share of cramps and understand how debilitating they can be. I guess my only question for LeBron would be, why not take off those Under-Armour full-length spandex pants for the second half, since you know its 1,000 degrees in the building and you’re having trouble with fluid intake/output?! To me it seems like common sense to remove full-length spandex that increase heat absorption and fluid loss due to sweat, but then again I’m not an NBA athlete.

    • rrhoe - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      I was thinking the exact same thing myself,I don’t know how endorsement deals go but under the circumstances he should’ve taken them off. It was also obvious the Powerade wasn’t working either,one of his teammates should’ve slipped him some Gatorade on the DL,a cup of water or something.

  19. Great Caesar's Ghost - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    It was great to see the Spurs fans tough out the high temps. Heat fans would have left in the first quarter. Don’t worry Miami fans, it’s a seven game series – you get another shiny trophy if you can win four of the next six. Then there won’t be any more trophies handed out for a year.

  20. djshnooks - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Plus it was humid?

    Is it not humid in Florida?

    Yes it is, more so than Texas, usually.

    • packergator - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Yeah, they don’t play the games outside or heat the arena to 90 degrees, so I’m not sure how that’s relevant.

  21. jbeagles23 - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Here come the same spurs fans that showed up a year ago after the spurs won game one and never came back after game seven.

  22. cubb1 - Jun 6, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Once again, Lebron vanishes in the 4th quarter.

    • packergator - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      You have watched the last two NBA Finals series, right?

  23. fmax0724 - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Sportsfan18
    Everyone player last night complained when fouls are called. Guess you didnt see Timmy She eyes get big everytime the whistle blew against her.

  24. kobebetterthanjordan - Jun 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Kobe doesn’t cramp up, he clamps down.

  25. kobebetterthanjordan - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Lebron James is overrated he would have been an average player in the 80′s or 90′s …. Kobe however, is transcendent and the GOAT

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