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Weary king: LeBron James says he loses sleep after playoff losses

In this Tuesday, May 15, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James sits on the scorer’s table during a timeout in the first half in Game 2 of the team’s NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics in Boston. James has twice come back from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs. Hes going to need to do it three times to make the NBA Finals for the eighth straight year, down 2-0 to the Celtics. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)
In this Tuesday, May 15, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James sits on the scorer’s table during a timeout in the first half in Game 2 of the team’s NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics in Boston. James has twice come back from a 2-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs. Hes going to need to do it three times to make the NBA Finals for the eighth straight year, down 2-0 to the Celtics. (Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – LeBron James knows the odds are stacked against the Cavaliers. He’s lost sleep over it.

The Cavs are down 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals to the Boston Celtics, who can take complete command of the series with a win in Game 3 on Saturday night. Although James has twice overcome 2-0 deficits to win postseason series, that doesn’t make the challenge any easier.

“I mean, I lose sleep,” the three-time champion said following the team’s morning shootaround. “At the end of the day, when you lose any game in the postseason, it’s never comfort. Playoffs is never comfort. There’s nothing about the playoffs that’s comfortable until you either win it all or you lose and go into the summer.

“So for me it’s always day to day grind to figure out ways that you can be better.”

Only 19 of 300 teams (6 percent) have overcome a 2-0 deficit to win, but two of them were Cleveland squads led by James. He brought the Cavs back in 2007 against Detroit and more famously in the 2016 NBA Finals when Cleveland became the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit and beat Golden State for the title.

James also lost four series when falling behind 2-0.

Game 3 essentially comes down to a must-win situation for the Cavs. No team has overcome a 3-0 deficit (131-0).

James is trying to reach the NBA Finals for the eighth straight time, a feat accomplished only by Celtics greats Bill Russell, Sam Jones, Frank Ramsey and Tommy Heinsohn.

Of course, with James potentially becoming a free agent this summer, Game 3 carries even more weight for the Cavs.


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