Hobbling LeBron helps Heat keep home fires burning
By Larry Fine
MIAMI (Reuters) - A case of leg cramps did what the Oklahoma City Thunder have yet to accomplish in four games of the NBA Finals, stop LeBron James.
Despite having to watch the final minute from the bench, the Miami Heat were able to secure a 104-98 victory that gave them a 3-1 lead and within touching distance of claiming the best-of-seven championship series.
"It's a big‑time team win," said James, who still led Miami with 26 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists. "We needed everyone's effort, and everyone came up and made a play."
James crumpled to the floor in pain from the cramping with a little more than five minutes remaining when Miami led 92-90.
About a minute later, he re-entered the game with a noticeable limp but was able to hit a three-pointer to break a 94-94 tie and give the Heat a lead would they never relinquish.
"I was able to drain that three and give us a lift," he said. "I was just trying to make a play. I wanted to try to make a play with the limited mobility I had at that time, and I was happy I was able to come through."
Two minutes later, James was again forced to the bench and watched as Miami prevailed in a tense finish.
"It was very frustrating because I'm a competitor and I want to be out there to help my team," James added. "But it's a team game. When someone goes down for any reason, guys step up." Continued...