MIAMI – LeBron James had a pained expression on his face during warmups and left the court twice in the early going, once to get his ankle re-taped and another time for a bathroom break.
He was clearly not feeling his best.
His teammates didn’t seem to be making him feel any better, either.
James’ final numbers from Game 4 of the NBA Finals looked stellar on paper: 28 points, 10-for-17 shooting, 4 for 8 from 3-point range, and eight rebounds. That alone just wasn’t anywhere near enough, and the Miami Heat are now in a colossal amount of trouble – the sort from which no team has ever successfully emerged before.
No team in NBA Finals history has ever blown a 3-1 lead and James, a historian of the game, knows that stat all too well.
“We put ourselves in position where it is about making history,” James said.
The Spurs took control with balance, eight players scoring in the first quarter alone.
The Heat? They didn’t have anyone besides James reach double-figures in scoring until 7:37 remained, and by then there were streams of Miami fans filing out of the arena, quite possibly for the final time this season, maybe even for the final time in what’s been known as the “Big 3” era.