LeBron James backs Tyronn Lue’s decision to keep him on the bench for first 8:22 of fourth quarter
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James sat patiently on the bench during the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s 119-116 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. In fact, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue held James out for over eight minutes.
Holding James out for so long wasn’t some sort of punishment. The Cavs — down by as many as 20 points at one point in the second half — were mounting a come-back effort, and the bench squad was leading the charge.
Though the Cavs were defeated in the end, James, now in his 15th season of NBA service, respected coach Lue’s decision to let the second unit run — a group that rattled off runs of 19-0 and 24-2.
“It was the perfect way to do it,” James told Joe Vardon of cleveland.com after Tuesday night’s game. “It was perfect.”
James posted 39 points on 14-22 shooting from the field (6-11 from beyond the arc), seven assists, three steals, and two blocks in the Cavs’ loss to the Bucks. Nine of his points came in the final four minutes of action alone.
The Cavs nearly managed to complete their comeback effort. With five seconds remaining on the game clock, James bounced the ball off of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s back while he wasn’t looking during an in-bound play. The King retrieved the precarious pass to himself, then proceeded to knock down a three, bringing Cleveland within two. However, despite a valiant effort, the Cavs weren’t able to overcome their early deficit.
James and the Cavs, winners in 18 of their last 20 games, will be back in action on Thursday night when they’ll welcome the Chicago Bulls to Quicken Loans Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST with Fox Sports Ohio having live broadcast coverage.