The Miami Heat are used to being carried by LeBron James. Unfortunately for the defending NBA champions, James needed to be carried in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals.
Suffering from cramps in San Antonio's sweltering AT&T Center on Thursday night, James was forced to miss the climactic moments of the Finals' opener as the Spurs rallied for a thrilling 110-95 win. James left the game for good with the Spurs leading 94-92 and 3:59 remaining in the game. With the air conditioning at the Spurs' arena malfunctioning and temperatures soaring, the four-time NBA MVP needed to be helped to the bench.
“I’m [going to need] some colder water,” James could be heard saying during the ABC broadcast, reported Sports Illustrated. “They’re trying to smoke us out of here.”
(GIF via @cjzero)
In his 33 minutes on the floor, James filled the stat sheet with a game-high 25 points, six rebounds, three assist and three steals. His last points came just before departing for good to cut the Spurs' lead to two points. The Heat began the fourth quarter with a 80-74 lead but would be outscored 36-17 in the final quarter as the cramps overwhelmed James.
After leaving the game for good, James would head back to the locker room before the final whistle.
LeBron James Departs pic.twitter.com/jSRjSe2g6y
— 3030 (@jose3030) June 6, 2014
"After I came out of the game, they kind of took off," James said after the game, via The Associated Press. "And it was frustrating sitting out and not being able to help our team."