LeBron James played in his 50th NBA Finals game on Wednesday night. While there have been plenty of great moments over the course of his career, there’s one loss that still bothers him to this day.
Following the Lakers’ win over the Heat in Game 1 of the 2020 Finals, James spoke to the media about the importance of his team keeping its foot on the gas. Los Angeles saw its 32-point lead get cut in half during the fourth quarter.
James brought up a Finals loss from earlier in his career that still haunts him and discussed why that experience allowed him to seal the deal on Wednesday.
“One game in particular that always hits home for me is Game 2 of the 2011 Finals,” James said. “D-Wade hits a three right by Dallas’ bench to put us up 13 or 17 points, and from that moment on Dallas went on a hell of a run that finished off with a Dirk Nowitzki layup to steal the game. That s–t burns me to this day.”
"That s–t burns me to this day."
LeBron on the Mavericks' Game 2 comeback in the 2011 NBA Finals pic.twitter.com/lCPaUoUTNc
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 1, 2020
Miami blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter against Dallas back in 2011. It seemed like the Heat never had full control of the series after that loss.
The Lakers saw its lead shrinking in the fourth quarter of last night’s game, but James had some timely buckets in the closing minutes to make sure that he didn’t suffer another heartbreaking loss. He finished the game with 25 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
James will try to lead his team to a commanding 2-0 series lead later this week.