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The 3-point shot is not the trademark of LeBron James’ game, but it is an aspect,
And when the deep ball is going in for the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, it creates even more problems for the opposition.
James made all three of his 3-point attempts in the 116-86 Game 3 rout over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night, coming on the heels of a 5-for-11 effort in Game 2.
He has now made 8-of-14 in the last two games after going 3-23 in the previous five.
“I shot better,” James said at shootaround Monday for tonight’s Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena (8:30, ESPN). “My game isn’t defined by 3s.”
During the regular season, James had the third-best mark of his 15-season NBA career from long distance, shooting at a 36.7-percent clip (149 of 406), the best he’s shot from deep since he returned to Cleveland in the summer of 2014. His 406 attempts were the most of his career in a regular season.
“If I make 3s, if I don’t, I’m still capable of helping my team wins games,” James said. “I’m not a one-dimensional player where if you say, ‘Oh, if you cut his 3s, he’s off and he can’t make plays,’ so that’s an aspect of my game where I’m always going to try to get better to help me personally be as efficient as I can be, even more of a complete basketball player.
“But I mean at the end of whenever, whenever I’m done I don’t think you guys will be sitting here talking about what a great 3-point shooter I was.”
Cavaliers, who trail the ECF, 2-1, followed James’ lead in Game 3. Cleveland made 17 of 34 attempts from beyond the arc.
James is averaging an NBA-best 32.9 points per game in the playoffs, along ties 8.9 rebounds and 9.4 assists.