Cavs blow largest lead of the season, and LeBron couldn't save them

From ESPN - January 12, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- LeBron James was unable to recreate two of the more memorable late-game shots of his career in Friday's 97-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers closed out their five-game road trip with a 1-4 record, extending their slump to eight losses in their past 11 games.

James' first miscue came with 2.3 seconds left when he drove baseline around the Pacers' Darren Collison and was whistled for stepping out of bounds, thwarting his chance at a go-ahead layup with the Cavs down 96-95.

In his first ever playoff game in 2006, James played the hero by tiptoeing the line and staying in play, leading to a game-winning layup to beat the Washington Wizards (that time he was coming from the left of the hoop, rather than the right).

"Just trying to be aggressive," James said. "The referees made a call, they reviewed it and the call stands."

He later went on to fully cop to stepping out of bounds on Twitter, while poking fun at how Giannis Antetokounmpo got away with making the same infraction in Oklahoma City earlier this season without getting called for it.

Definitely stepped out by a tiny bit after seeing it over again! Great call. Needed to be in OKC on that drive. Lol. Live and you Learn

LeBron James (@KingJames) January 13, 2018

Then, right before the buzzer, he received a full-court outlet pass from Kevin Love with the Cavs down 97-95 after Collison went 1-for-2 at the line. His 3-pointer -- similar to the one he banked in on the right wing to force overtime in a game against the Washington Wizards last February -- caromed off the back rim this time instead.

"Should not have came down to that point, but it did," said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue. "Kevin threw a great pass. Bron, tough shot, but easy shot for him and he got a good look."

James missed his last three shots of the fourth quarter, racked up a turnover for stepping on the baseline and also was called for a technical foul for shoving Lance Stephenson in the chest with his forearm that doubled the Pacers' lead from one to two at the time when the Pacers hit the free throw.

"Lance is just a little dirty that's all," James said. "He's a little dirty. We got a history, so I already know that. I should have known. I have known since school, it's not the guy who tells the joke who gets caught, it's the guy who laughs. So they caught me on the retaliation, so -- but he played well tonight."


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