By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball Author
LeBron James powered into the lane, seeking to take one other step towards an NBA title.
As a substitute, he took too many steps.
James was whistled for touring, ending a possession that might have given the Los Angeles Lakers a fourth-quarter lead.
A pair minutes later, he did it once more.
Within the time of the sport when he normally turns it up, James turned it over Sunday evening, a part of a sloppy efficiency by the Lakers in a 115-104 loss to the Miami Warmth in Recreation 3 of the NBA Finals.
“It wasn’t about effort, it was nearly execution,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned.
Knocked off monitor early by Anthony Davis’ first-quarter foul bother, the Lakers wasted an opportunity to take a 3-0 lead, which has by no means been blown in NBA playoff historical past.
They by no means acquired management of Jimmy Butler or of the basketball in Recreation 3. Los Angeles dedicated 20 turnovers that led to 21 Miami factors, with James committing a game-high eight of them.
“Simply foolish turnovers,” mentioned Davis, who had 4 in his restricted first-quarter stint.
“Offensive fouls, miscommunication on some passes, however we’ve simply acquired to be higher total. I imply, we’ll be superb.”
Davis took solely 9 pictures and completed with 15 factors, lower than half of his performances within the first two video games, when he scored 34 and 32.
“You may have to have the ability to adapt and modify,” Vogel mentioned of Davis’ foul bother. “It in all probability had a small issue on our offensive rhythm however we’ve simply acquired to be higher total on each ends.”
James had 25 factors, 10 rebounds and eight assists, however the NBA help chief’s turnovers contributed to the Lakers by no means having sustained momentum.
“You simply can’t flip the ball over versus that staff,” James mentioned, “and I take full duty for that.”
They fell behind by 13 factors within the first quarter, even with James reducing brief his regular early relaxation as a result of Davis needed to the go to the bench with a pair fast fouls.
The Lakers stayed behind a lot of the method till early within the fourth quarter. However Miami went again forward for good proper after James’ first journey and Butler wouldn’t Los Angeles come again once more, ending with 40 factors, 13 assists and 11 rebounds.
James and Davis had been placing up numbers like Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant by the primary two video games of the collection. With Miami short-handed, the one intrigue gave the impression to be which of the 2 Lakers superstars would win the NBA Finals MVP award.
Now there’s far more intrigue than that.
However the Lakers by no means misplaced once more after their defeats in every of the three earlier rounds, ending every collection in 5 video games. They’ll nonetheless try this now.
James mentioned the Lakers don’t really feel involved as a result of they know they’ll play rather a lot higher, including that this staff learns shortly from its errors.
He vowed to chop down on those he made.
“I’ll be rather a lot higher with the safety of the ball and the turnovers and the issues of that nature,” James mentioned, “and we as a staff will likely be rather a lot higher defensively with our recreation plan.”
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