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NBA Finals: Cavaliers may not sit LeBron James much in Game 4

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 7, 2017 in Cleveland. Credit: Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

CLEVELAND — LeBron James better have gotten plenty of rest since Game 3. He may not sit down much Friday night.

James sat a grand total of two minutes and 23 seconds Wednesday, and only 34 seconds over the final three quarters. The Cavaliers may need him to play 48 minutes to have any chance of extending the series.

When James went to the bench for the last 1:49 of the first quarter, the Golden State Warriors ended it on a 10-0 run. But, James looked like he had little left at the end of the game, and the Warriors ended the fourth on a game-winning 11-0 run.

James missed his last three shots in crunch time, including a layup, committed a turnover and was too late and a little too lax in contesting Kevin Durant’s go-ahead three-pointer with 45.3 seconds left.

It’s a tough balance, but the Cavaliers need to do something to extend the Finals. The Warriors lead 3-0 and can sweep the Cavaliers in Game 4 on Friday night.

“I hate the fact that we’re not able to . . . just try to keep the leads,” James said. “If I come out of the game or not, not even keep the leads just sustain it. I hate it for my teammates. I hate it for myself. I hate it for everybody that’s involved.”

It wasn’t just James. Kyrie Irving played the entire second half because of how ineffective backup point guard Deron Williams has been. The former Net was 0-for-2 with no points and no assists in 3:37 in the first half. For the series, Williams is 0-for-11 with no points with four assists and two turnovers.

The Cavaliers miss Matthew Dellavedova, who was a pest defensively on Stephen Curry the past two NBA Finals and made shots. He signed with the Bucks after helping Cleveland to the title last year.

“We just have to find better ways as a collective unit to have the right pieces out on the floor or guys on the floor,” James said. “They have to do their job and try to do it at a high level, no matter who is out on the floor. So it’s something we have to figure out.”


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