Miami Heat forward LeBron James remains frustrated that he had to come out of Thursday night’s opener of the NBA Finals after cramping, but he expects to be fully recovered on Sunday for Game 2.
James took 2 1/2 bags of intravenous fluids after the game and will take extra supplements in preparation. The Spurs won Game 1 110-95 in the best-of-seven series.
Because of an air conditioning failure in the AT&T Center, the on-court temperature reached 90 degrees, sapping many of the players on the court. No one was more drained than James, who left the game with 7:55 remaining and the Heat trailing by two points.
“For obvious reasons, I was angry, I was disappointed in myself,” James said. “I did everything that I needed to do to prepare for this game, prepare for this moment and to feel like my body failed me.
“I was angry in the fact that I couldn’t help my team get over the hump. In a huge Game 1, I wanted to make a statement.”
James was criticized on social media by fans and by Gatorade for not being hydrated enough during the game. James endorses Powerade but drinks Gatorade, an official NBA sponsor, during games.
“I really don’t care what people say about me, I don’t care about that drink group,” He said. “This is about the Spurs and the Heat, and it’s not about everybody else. I don’t care.”
James tried to come back briefly but left for good with under four minutes remaining. He finished with a game-high 25 points.
“I could have gotten myself in more trouble if I had tried to play through a cramp and I pulled something and it got worse,” James said.
According to arena officials, the air conditioning issues have been fixed and it should be up and running for Game 2.
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