LeBron James did what legends do. After his Cavaliers got smoked on their home court by the Celtics in Game 2, with talk turning more toward his injured elbow and odds starting to swing in Boston’s favor in the eyes of some, LeBron set the record straight in last night’s Game 3. Boston never had a chance in front of their home crowd: LeBron outscored the Celtics by himself in the first quarter (21-17), on his way to a 38-point, 8-rebound, 7-assist effort while handing the Celtics their worst home playoff loss ever, a 29-point beating … Think about that. They’ve been hosting playoff games in Boston since Abraham played point guard, and in all those years of Russell, Cousy, Cowens, Bird and Pierce, they’d never taken an L that bad … LeBron got most of his on long jumpers, but also threw in a near-360 dunk off an alley-oop where he had to duck his head to avoid the backboard, and another acrobatic finish where he caught a bad lob and laid it in anyway while twisting his body in mid-air (“aerial pyrotechnics” according to ESPN’s Mark Jones). And on the defensive end, LBJ helped hold Pierce to 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting. “He was playing H-O-R-S-E,” Doc Rivers said. “We were awful.” … Even in the rout, Shelden Williams and Marquis Daniels barely saw the court. Apparently those plans of Shelden taking some of Rasheed‘s minutes and Marquis being used as a secret weapon to help stick LeBron went out the window completely … Jay-Z and Beyonce made it out to Beantown and surprisingly managed to snag courtside seats. Would Jay even bother going to a game where his feet couldn’t touch the court? Not even Denzel gets seats that good 100% of the time in L.A. … And LeBron didn’t even have the biggest 12-minute scoring explosion of the night; that title belongs to Goran Dragic. Here’s two things you need to know about Dragic and why he is where he is: (1) Phoenix got him from the Spurs in a draft-day trade, and (2) He really put himself on the map with NBA scouts after a European Championship game where he gave Tony Parker the business. And you thought the Luis Scola trade was coming back to bite San Antonio in the ass? … Dragic personally put the Spurs on the brink of elimination, dropping 23 points in the fourth quarter of last night’s Game 3, as the Suns’ backups thoroughly outplayed the Spurs’ starters down the stretch to put Phoenix up 3-0 in the series. Becoming increasingly famous with every bucket, Dragic (26 pts, 10-13 FG, 5 threes) took what was a close game and ended it with a mix of crafty shots in the lane, quick drives to the cup and threes — mostly while Steve Nash was on the bench with most of the the Suns’ starters. The “Officially Playing Out Of His Mind” moment came when Dragic was stuck in a corner and ripped through just to create a foul, but banged home a triple almost on accident to set up a four-point play. Leandro Barbosa was also big in the fourth, finishing with 13 points. You knew something crazy had to be going on for Phoenix to win a game where Amar’e only scored 7 points … By the time the Spurs’ had thrown in the towel, Parker (10 pts, 5-17 FG) was limping around holding his ear. Makes sense. You know how somebody will get their ass beat and then get a ringing sound in their ear? There ya go … Would a Suns sweep make up for all the other years where San Antonio took their heart in the postseason? Not really, unless it eventually leads to a championship. But if the Spurs avoid a sweep and win Game 4, then Phoenix closes it out at home, it’ll at least look like a championship celebration in AZ … Gilbert Arenas is out of the halfway house and free to focus on his next NBA comeback. The Wizards had been saying all was clear for Gilbert to play for them, but under new ownership, who knows what will happen. If your team could afford him, would you want Arenas in a trade? … Did you catch Iron Man 2 yet? If so, tell us what you thought of the movie. And in the meantime, check out Dime’s NBA All-Iron Man Team. Hint: Kobe Bryant is involved … We’re out like Shelden …
Smack / May 8, 2010 / 3:39 am
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