LeBron James compared the Golden State Warriors to the NFL’s New England Patriots after his Cleveland Cavaliers fell 3-0 behind in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors have had too much for the James-inspired Cavs in the opening three games of the series, with Kevin Durant turning in a match-winning display in Cleveland for a 110-102 triumph.
James suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday’s defeat but confirmed he will be available for the next game on Friday, as the Cavs face an uphill battle.
And the 33-year-old warned his team-mates that, as when facing the dominant Patriots, there is no room for error if they are to deny the Warriors a third title in four years.
“The margin of error is very low. I mean, it’s almost like playing the Patriots – you can’t have mistakes,” James told a news conference. “They’re not going to beat themselves.
“So when you’re able to either force a miscue on them, you have to be able to capitalise and you have to be so tuned in and razor sharp and focused every single possession.
“You can’t have miscommunication, you can’t have flaws, you can’t have “my fault” or “my bad” or things like that, because they’re going to make you pay.
“When they make you pay, it’s a 3-0 or 6-0 or 9-0 run, and it comes in bunches. The room for error, you just can’t have it.
Last 3 plays for @warriors to close out Game 3:
@StephenCurry30’s first of the game
Iggy poster dunk
KD pull up #NBAFinals | #DubNation pic.twitter.com/veqPLVrT8n
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 7, 2018
“We know, throughout the course of a 48-minute game, there are going to be plays where it was a miscue here, it was a miscue there. But, for the most part, throughout 48 minutes, you just can’t have a bunch of those, especially not against this team.”
Despite the strength in depth in the Warriors’ team, Durant’s performance – with 43 points and 13 rebounds – had James acknowledging the former Oklahoma City Thunder star as the difference between the two sides for the second year running.
James said: “You guys asked me this last year: ‘What was the difference between the Warriors the previous year and this year?’
“And what was my answer? Kevin Durant was my answer.
“He’s one of the best players that I’ve ever played against, that this league has ever seen. His ability to handle the ball, shoot the ball, make plays at his length, his size, his speed. So there it is.”