LeBron James is a man on a mission
Still burning from last year’s Finals flop, LeBron James admits he’s taken it upon himself to single-handedly lead the Miami Heat to NBA glory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The three-time MVP certainly backed up his words in Game Three of this year’s decider in Miami, James leading all scorers with 29 points and pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds as the Heat won 91-85 to seize a 2-1 series advantage.
‘King’ James’ peerless performance was in stark contrast to last year’s Finals against Dallas where he was anything but basketball royalty. He constantly failed to turn up in fourth quarters as the Mavericks clinched the title in six games.
But rather than blank that no-show from the memory banks, the 27-year-old claims he’s using it as motivation to go one better this time round.
“I’m just trying to make plays,” James said. “Last year, I didn’t make enough game-changing plays, and that’s what I kind of pride myself on. I didn’t do that last year in the Finals.
“I’m just trying to make game-changing plays, and whatever it takes for our team to win, just trying to step up in key moments and be there for my teammates.”
With the next two games at the American Airlines Arena, the Heat have the chance to wrap up the seven-game series on their home court.
But LeBron’s partner-in-crime Dwyane Wade believes that even if they’re forced to go back to Oklahoma, the lessons learnt from last year’s defeat means they’ll eventually prevail.
“I feel like we’re a more experienced team, and it’s not saying that we want it more,” he added. “I just feel like we understand the situations more, we can deal with it better. So that’s the biggest thing.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, who top-scored for the Thunder with 25 points, refused to be too downbeat about his team’s second straight loss.
The Western Conference champions came back from a two-game deficit against San Antonio to book their place in the Finals, and Durant said: “We put ourselves in a position to win. That’s what it’s about.
“Tough loss, but this is not over. We’ve got to be ready for the next game.”