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A loss, even one of a 25-point nature in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference Finals, is not going to shake the confidence of LeBron James.
As in, at all.
“I have zero level of concern at this stage,” James said after the Cleveland Cavaliers were wiped out by the Boston Celtics, 108-83, on Sunday at TD Garden. “I didn’t go to college so it’s not March Madness. You get better throughout the series, see ways you can get better.
“I’ve been down 0-1, been down 0-2. There’s no level of concern.”
The blowout loss was the second-worst Game 1 defeat by a James-led team in his 13-season postseason career.
James finished with his lowest point total of these playoffs, 15, the first time he failed to lead Cleveland in scoring or reached the 20-point mark. Kevin Love led the Cavaliers with 16 points.
“I’ve seen every (defensive) coverage,” James said after putting up a 5-of-16 shooting performance and turning the basketball over 17 times in 36 minutes. “For me, Game 1 has always been a feel-out game if you follow my history.
“I got a good sense of the way they played me today and how I’ll play heading into Game 2.”
That will be played Tuesday night (8:30) and the Cavaliers had better shoot better than the 36.5 percent they did from the field and 15.4 percent from deep if they expect a different result.
“Three-point shots are a part of our DNA. That’s what makes us the best team we can be,” James said after finishing with a game-worst plus-minus rating of minus-32. “Even early on, we had some wide one looks that just didn’t go. J.R. (Smith), Kev (Kevin Love), G-Hill (George Hill), they had some great looks. We’re absolutely OK with that.”