OAKLAND (Reuters) - LeBron James said on Saturday that Cleveland’s overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game One of the NBA Finals was among the most difficult of his career but he is relishing the opportunity to even the series.
James scored 51 points, snatched eight rebounds and dished out eight assists in their 124-114 loss, where the Cavaliers had the lead with less than a minute to play in regulation.
“It’s one of the toughest losses I’ve had in my career as well because of everything that kind of went on with the game and the way we played,” said the 33-year-old, who is playing in his eighth consecutive NBA Finals.
“I mean, it’s a new day. For me, I woke up feeling excited about the opportunity for us to get better today. Excited about the opportunity that presents itself tomorrow.”
He said the loss was hard on the entire team including guard George Hill, who missed a free throw that would have given the Cavaliers the lead with less than five second left in the fourth quarter.
“It was a tough 24 hours not only for G-Hill and for myself but for our whole ballclub because we put ourselves in a great position to be successful,” James said.
“But like I said, you give yourself a day - if you need to take two days, okay. But today you should feel excited about the opportunity to be better and be great and move forward.”
James said his left eye, which was bloodied when Warriors forward Draymond Green poked it as James drove to the basket in Game One, felt better even if it did not look that way.
“I’m taking my medication that I’ve been given by the doctors,” he said.
“My eye drops and my antibiotic to help me with the recovery as fast as possible. But it’s an eye. I mean, it’s going to recover as fast as it can on its own,” he said.
“There is nothing you can do. I can’t ice it or anything like that, or if I get more sleep or whatever the case may be. I’ll just have to naturally, organically let heal.”
The Warriors and Cavaliers, who are playing in their fourth consecutive NBA Finals, will meet in Game Two in Oakland on Sunday.
Editing by Peter Rutherford