LeBron not viewing game seven as possible Cavaliers farewell

By Tom Webber 28 April 2018 384
LeBron not viewing game seven as possible Cavaliers farewell

LeBron James is not viewing game seven of the first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers as potentially his final match for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Four-time NBA MVP James will enter free agency at the end of the season and is yet to confirm what his next move will be, leading to suggestions the decider versus the Pacers could prove to be his farewell.

The 33-year-old sustained a cut above his left eye in a collision with Thaddeus Young and sat out the fourth quarter as the Cavs fell to a heavy 121-87 loss in game six in Indianapolis on Friday.

Asked if he would entertain the thought that Sunday's decider could be his last home match in Cleveland, James replied: "No, no. The thought that if we don't play well that it could be my last game of the year. That would probably hit my mind. But no, I haven't thought about that."

The Cavs superstar posted 22 points in his 31 minutes on the floor, with Jeff Green and Rodney Hood the only team-mates to join him in double figures.

Kevin Love has struggled for consistency in the series and contributed just seven points off three-of-10 shooting on Friday, and James called on the five-time All-Star to step up.

"He's a huge part of our success, or our non-success. We try to go to him, we want to go to him. Obviously, we can't make the shots for him. He has to step up and knock those down," said James.

"But you know those things you can't control. In shot-making you're going to have games where you can't make shots or games you can make shots. But we have to continue to let him know how important he is to our success.

"If we want to have any success, either in a game seven or move on to the next round, Kev has to be a big part of that."

The Pacers more than doubled their lead in a brilliant third quarter and star guard Victor Oladipo (28 points, 10 assists, 13 rebounds) is expecting a physical finale at Quicken Loans Arena.

Oladipo said: "I think you can credit everybody on that team, everybody in the locker room. They're great men that I play with and not only great basketball players, but they're great men of high character who have been resilient not only on court but off the court as well and they're just applying it to the game, and all of us, when we get together it can be something special and we're just trying to stay together through it all.

"I think defensively we were really good and we're going to have to do that on Sunday for 48 minutes. It's going to be a dog fight. We know they're going to be ready, and we have to be too."

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Tom Webber