CLEVELAND -- LeBron James hit send on the tweet before Game 1 of the playoffs, letting everyone know anything he has to say will be on the basketball court. It has become a postseason ritual for the NBA's biggest star.
"Zero dark thirty-23 activated," James tweeted with the hashtag "#StriveForGreatness."
That's James' way of saying he won't tweet, post anything on Instagram or turn on his cell phone until his season is over. He started doing it a few years ago in Miami, where he won two NBA championships. He brought that custom along with his talents back to Northeast Ohio as he puts all of his attention into leading the Cavaliers as far as he possibly can.
James and the Cavaliers still have a lot to clean up if they're to have a long playoff run. But James carried the Cavaliers to a 99-91 win Tuesday night over the gritty Celtics to go up 2-0 in their first-round series. He raised his game down the stretch, scoring 15 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to lift Cleveland to the win.
"I've been in this moment before," James said. "A lot of our guys haven't. I just tried to put my stamp on the game the best way I know how -- be aggressive. I was able to make a few plays to help our team get the win. It was very important for me to be there for my team when they needed it."
James added nine rebounds and seven assists, including a halfcourt alley-oop to Kevin Love. But James wasn't entirely happy. He had a game-high six turnovers and has 11 in the series. "I got to be better with the ball in order for us to be successful," he said.
The Celtics are playing Cleveland tough, and the Cavaliers are having trouble containing quick sixth man Isaiah Thomas, who scored 22. It was a four-point game with under four-minutes remaining. But James and Kyrie Irving made so many big plays to preserve the victory and the Cavs got a big game from onetime Knick Timofey Mozgov, who fouled out with 16 points, seven rebounds and five blocks. Irving finished with 26 points, and he and James combined to score Cleveland's last 28 points and all 24 in the fourth.
"They did what they had to do, took responsibility and they made plays," coach David Blatt said. "They answered the call."
Apparently that's the only call James will answer. He doesn't want anything to distract him, so he's shutting the outside world out.
"I don't care about nonsense," James said. "There's too much nonsense out there. Not during this time. I lock in right now."
That's why James feigned ignorance when he was asked about what Heat president Pat Riley said that undoubtedly was a jab at the superstar who left Miami last summer.
While speaking about the Heat's draft plans, Riley said, "No more smiling faces with hidden agendas, so we'll be going in clean." Last year the Heat made a trade to draft point guard Shabazz Napier after James indicated on twitter he was the best point guard in the draft thinking it would help keep him. It didn't.
"I'm unaware," James said of Riley's remark. "Whatever he said, to me, it's really not my concern right now."
James' singular concern is winning, and doing whatever it takes to do that.