LeBron James had a painful outing Sunday against the Rockets. First there was the physical pain of getting kicked in the groin by Houston’s James Harden, then the Cavs’ superstar had only himself to kick for missing a pair of free throws that could have averted a 105-103 overtime loss.

Late in the third quarter, Harden took exception to a harassing double-team thrown on him by James and Cleveland teammate James Jones (it was indeed a very James-heavy sequence). Harden eventually fell to the the floor, and as he did so, he saw fit to give LeBron a parting shot.

That got both teams into a bit of a scuffle, which results in technical fouls being called on Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson and Houston’s Corey Brewer. For his part, Harden was assessed a flagrant-1 penalty; he was allowed to remain in the game, but he may face further punishment for his action.

There was an even more bizarre tie-up between the two late in the game, one that didn’t result in a foul. In fact, it didn’t result in anything but a shot-clock violation on Houston, which seemed odd, given the contact:

That arm-lock between the pair of MVP candidates occurred with less than a minute to play and the Rockets up by just one point. The shot-clock violation gave the ball to Cleveland, and James was able to get fouled on a shot attempt, putting him at the line for two free-throw attempts with four seconds left.

After Harden’s flagrant foul, James had missed both of his free-throw attempts. Surely he’d at least hit one of these and send the game into a second overtime right?

Wrong. LeBron tossed up a pair of LeBricks, and shortly after that, his Cavs walked off the court with a very frustrating loss. James notched 37 points, eight rebounds,  four assists, three blocks and three steals, but he also went just 15 for 35 from the field, plus 3 for 11 on free throws, and ultimately that made the difference.

After the game, James posted a very curious tweet:

It wasn’t clear to many what “Bron” meant by “trick it off.” Urban Dictionary provides a rather vulgar definition, but that doesn’t seem to apply in this case, so it’s likely James was using the phrase in a different way, perhaps specific to his Akron roots.

Update, 11:37 p.m.: Later on Sunday evening, James posted a photo to Instagram, along with this caption:

“Looking in the mirror tonight after a tough lost of my part like You’re your biggest challenge, competition, drive, obstacle, motivation, etc so it’s nothing u haven’t seen before! Back in the lab tomorrow to continue the drive to striving to be the Greatest I’ve ever seen! #StriveForGreatness”