The Cleveland Cavaliers gave the Golden State Warriors their best shot on Wednesday night in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but still came up short in the 118-113 home loss.
Despite a 39-point, 11-rebound and nine-assist effort from LeBron James, many fans were left wanting more from the superstar forward in the aftermath of the loss that put Cleveland down 3-0 in the series.
That's because in a crucial late-game situation, with 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Cavs leading by two points, James drove to the basket, but kicked it out to Kyle Korver for a corner three-point shot, which he missed.
Golden State star Kevin Durant grabbed the rebound and hit a three on the other end to put the Warriors up for good, but James told ESPN.com after the game that he'd do the same thing if he could do it all over again:
"If I could have the play over again, I would come off a screen situation. Draymond [Green] would switch on me with five fouls. I would get him leaning. I would drive left. I would see [Durant] step up. I would see Stephen Curry drop on Kevin [Love]. And I would see Kyle Korver in the corner, one of the greatest 3-point shooters in this league's history, and give him an opportunity in the short corner," James said, explaining what he saw on the play.
"I would do the same exact thing."
Korver made two of his six shots from long range on Wednesday night, but missed the one that mattered the most. He finished the game with eight points in 24 total minutes of court time.
James did say that, in hindsight, he should have finished the drive, but said the criticism of him not taking it to the basket on that one occasion was unfounded:
"I had 101 drives last night. I didn't have 101, but you get the gist of it," James said. "I'm sorry I didn't go for 102."
James only got to the free-throw line six times on Wednesday night, making five of his attempts. If the Cavaliers are going to stave off elimination on Friday night at home, they'll need to get to the line way more often as a team.
In Game 3, the team only shot 25 free throws - one more than Golden State's 24. If LeBron and his teammates are going to pull off the upset on Friday, they'll need to draw more whistles and make more free throws than Durant and the Warriors.