Yesterday once more the talented Toronto Raptors led for the most part of the 1st half, never more than 9 points, ended-up holding on to a small two-point advantage going to halftime.
But while the past points to Cleveland eventually moving into the conference finals against Boston or Philadelphia, James knows better than to rush things. So does Smith's ability to make plays for others off-the-dribble through dribble penetration in the halfcourt or running the break in transition. And everything else seems to fall away. The Cavaliers can close out the Raptors in Game 4, set for Monday in Cleveland.
Then like he has done throughout his career, James put the dagger into the hearts of the Raptors with an unreal shot to win 105-103 and take a 3-0 series lead.
As their season was blowing up in flames, the Raptors best player - DeMar DeRozan - sat on the sidelines, pulled with 2:16 left in the third quarter and glued to the bench the rest of the way. Kyle Lowry scored 27 for the Raptors, who tied with 8 seconds left before James' heroics.
Cleveland, by that time, was dwelling on all the mistakes it had made. Casey was a defensive assistant before he came to Toronto as head coach, although he has bristled in recent seasons when it has been suggested that his specialty is on that side of the ball.
But the Cavaliers got real sharp from there. James is the only person who is doing them at the highest level and with regularity. The reason: Give James room to roam.
Jonas Valancianus typified Toronto's end game collapse. If the opposing team should opt to play small, or the Cavaliers want to get Love posted up against a smaller player, they'll create the mismatches with screens.
There's nothing LeBron James can't do to the Toronto Raptors.
With their twin towers and plethora of shooters, do the Sixers have a chance to make history and run the table? And I always go back to, how many years has LeBron gone to the finals? And he's shooting a one-footed floater from 15 feet with his body facing the crowd. The decision to take the ball full court with just over eight seconds remaining in the contest was an excellent decision.
It did distinctly appear like that, until Toronto missed 15 of its last 16 shots to lose a won game 113-112 in overtime. He had thrown up several worthy of the big top Thursday, hitting one fadeaway after another, each trickier than the last. Because he apparently works on everything. "Sometimes I really don't know", James said. I'll explain it to you later. Casey said, "I don't subscribe to ghosts". "I think we always give JR one assignment in the playoffs". It's always like, 'When would he shoot a shot like that?
The Raptors said they needed 48 minutes of defence and they came up with 43 minutes of it.
For drama, for showmanship, it's hard to top James in the National Basketball Association postseason.
"Two points ain't two points", said LeBron before Game 3, when asked the difference between those jumpers and a dunk.