LeBron James' jaw, consecutive Finals streak take cold shoulder
Cleveland Plain Dealer | 6 days ago

BOSTON -- Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue thought the shoulder LeBron James took to the jaw in the second quarter of Game 2 slowed him down.

James disagreed and can point to his 42-point triple double as proof.

Either way, both James and his seven-consecutive-finals streak took a shot to the face in the Cavs' 107-94 loss to the Celtics in Game 2 on Tuesday that really hurt.

James finished with 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists on 16-of-29 shooting, with 21 of those points coming in the first quarter.

In the second, James drove baseline and Jayson Tatum slid to cut him off. There was an inadvertent collision between James' jaw and Tatum's shoulder, and James wound up heading to the locker room with 3:48 left in the half.

James returned before the half was over and the Cavs said he had a neck strain. James said he was checked for "multiple things" and was cleared.

"When he came back, I don't think he had the same punch that he had before he left as far as attacking the basket, playing with that force and power we talked about at shootaround," Lue said. "We'll see how he feels."

James said Tatum's shoulder was a "tough blow" and "incidental," and he needed to go to the locker room to "kind of recalibrate."

"But I don't think it -- it didn't affect my game after that," James said.

Marcus Smart said "that was big for us.

"He went out," Smart said. "I don't think Jayson was intentionally trying. He was trying to make a basketball play, it just happened. He went out, and it allowed us to pick up our pressure even more."

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