First, there was a 35-minute delay because condensation from around the scorebaord was falling to the floor. Then the Cavs came out and rolled over the head, taking a 27-point lead midway through the third quarter. And, to perfectly top things off, a James fan wearing a T-shirt that said “We Miss You” and “2014 Come Back” ran onto the court late in the game. (He got a pat on the head from LeBron and a security escort for his trouble.)
“This was one of most bizarre, unique days of my life with everything that happened,” James said. “It also was one of the best comebacks I’ve been part of.”
Oh, yes, There was that. Miami rallied for a 98-95 victory on the last night of an eight-day road trip, drawing ever closer to the NBA record 33-game streak set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. “The streak wasn’t on my mind,” James said (via the Palm Beach Post). “Us getting blown out crossed my mind a couple of times.”
Not Wednesday night. The Heat put together a crushing 14 minutes of play in which it outscored the Cavs 51-17.
“It happened fast,” Coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Lightning in a bottle.”
James scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter; he also had 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The only uncertainty when it was over was the same as it has been of late: Will James, who is from Akron, leave Miami when he becomes a free agent in a mere 15 months? He isn’t saying.
“My only focus now is to win another championship,” he said recently (via ESPN). “I can’t worry about speculation or rumors. What we’re doing on the floor right now is what it’s all about. We’re playing good ball right now. We’re trying to win a championship.”
They’re also growing more invested each day in the winning streak, with the possibility of breaking the mark looming on April 9. “After it becomes a thing,” Chris Bosh said, “you don’t want to lose any more.”
That’s especially true of James, especially in Cleveland.
“That guy right there,” Dwyane Wade said as he nodded toward James, “did not want to lose in this building, not tonight.”