James' shot gave the Cavs a 3-0 lead in the series and moved the Raptors within one loss of having their season ended by Cleveland again.
"He's a great player", Casey said. "A lot of teams have struggled here". "I'm just grateful to have him on our team".
With overtime looming on Saturday, James left the Raptors on the verge of elimination with a running one-hander that secured a 105-103 win and sent the Quicken Loans Arena wild. "I have been saying it all year and you know how Dwane Casey is all about defence". "He got to his spot, not much is going through your mind, you just test. OG [Anunoby] got a contest..." Extremely hard. I never want to be over there watching, especially the competitor I am.
"I think more than anything, Ty Lue just wanted me to get involved, especially when LeBron's out", Love said. "LeBron got exhausted and needed to come out, probably two minutes more than when we wanted to give him". "He made a tough shot". "He makes them all the time".
In games and during practice, his teammates have seen the best of LeBron.
James has turned this series against the Raptors into a shot-making exhibition.
The physicality of Lebron James' lateral movement is enough to put defenders on a swivel.
First, in OT Horford hit what proved to be the game-winner on a brilliantly designed inbounds play that forced Embiid to switch and left the smaller Robert Covington to handle Horford in the post on a clear out.
When it comes to crucial moments, it's only natural for James to go to his familiar weapons as they present the higher success rate.
So, in these situations, how does James - with such a wide-array of shots - decide which was is the best? My guys, they trust me.
The deciding shot was also his second game-winner of the playoffs after his three-pointer in Game 5 against the Indiana Pacers late last month as he reflected on it after the game. But the Wine & Gold adapted easily and, like the Raptors had in Game 1, led the entire game until being stung by a three-pointer in the closing seconds. Ben Simmons then threw the ball away after a timeout and Horford sealed the win with two free throws.
The Raptors were very bad early but then fought back.
I can not wait to see it happen. "And he's playing at that level right now".
But Toronto's defensive lapses haven't just been caused by the hazard of trying to stop a team led by James, a unique offensive force.
At morning shootaround, James reflected on the fadeaway jumpers he took in Game 2, and hinted that not every made basket carries the same value, especially when it comes to demoralizing an opponent.
Philadelphia forward Robert Covington went 0-for-eight shooting with one point and two rebounds in 25 minutes. "I'll explain it to you later". The coach said the lack of focus after halftime of Game 2 was particularly troubling. That wasn't two points.
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series is Monday in Cleveland.
"I've been doing it since I was six, seven, eight or maybe even younger". "It was very hard". "Don't try it at home".
Alex Wong is an National Basketball Association freelance writer whose work has appeared in GQ, The New Yorker, Vice Sports, and Complex, among other publications.