CLEVELAND — LeBron James wasn’t just satisfied with dunking over Jason Terry. On Wednesday, he threw it in the Boston guard’s face again.
The NBA’s ruling MVP said he ranks his monster dunk over Terry on Monday night as one of his best, and that it’s one of his favourites because of his history with the talkative Celtics guard.
“I’ve had a chance to (review) it and it was one of my better ones,” James said at the Heat’s morning shootaround. “The fact that it happened to J.T. made it that much sweeter because we all know J.T. and he talks too much sometimes.
“I’m glad it happened to him.”
Late in the first half in Boston, James soared and grabbed a lob pass before smashing it over a helpless Terry, who couldn’t defend himself in the lane against the onrushing 6-foot-8, 260-pound superstar. After the ball crashed through the rim, James stared and walked toward Terry, who was sprawled on the parquet floor.
The monster dunk is regarded as one of the league’s best this season, ranking with the one Clippers centre DeAndre Jordan recently delivered over Detroit’s Brandon Knight.
James said his problems with Terry date back several years. James said Terry committed a flagrant foul on him when the guard was with Atlanta. Terry was also very talkative during the 2011 NBA Finals as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, who defeated James and the Heat in six games.
James was back in Cleveland for the first time this season with the Heat, who extended their winning streak — the second-longest in NBA history — to 24 games by overcoming a 27-point deficit in the third quarter of a 98-95 victory over the undermanned Cavaliers. Cleveland was missing All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, centre Anderson Varejao and rookie guard Dion Waiters because of injuries.
James, who finished with 25 points and a triple-double, wasn’t sure what kind of reception he’d receive from Cleveland fans, some of whom will never forgive him for the way he left as a free agent in 2010 after playing seven seasons with the Cavs.
“It can’t be no worse than Year One, Dec. 2, 2010,” James said, recalling his first trip back home when Cleveland fans booed and taunted his every move. “I’ll be all right.”
Last year, James sent shockwaves through the NBA when he said he it would “be great” to play again for Cleveland. This time around, he sidestepped any questions about his future. He can opt out of his contract in Miami and become a free agent after the 2014 season.
“I’m focused on right now,” James said. “I don’t get involved in the road ahead of me. I kind of live in the moment and as a team right now we’re focused on trying to defend our championship. That’s the No. 1 thing.”