LeBron James suffered an injury in Game 1 of the NBA finals that led teammates to carry the Miami Heat star to the bench in obvious pain.
It was reported that James suffered a cramp late in the game. James writhed in pain on the floor after suffering the injury.
Though James remained on the bench for much of the fourth quarter, he left for the locker room with just over 1 minute remaining after the Spurs widened their lead to 10 points.
The injury is being blamed on a malfunctioning air conditioning that led to sweltering conditions of the floor of the AT&T Center in San Antonio. By late in the third quarter, the temperature inside the building was approaching 90 degrees, making it actually five degrees hotter than the air outside the arena.
“It doesn’t affect us more than them,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “It’s just a bad situation.”
After the game, Tim Duncan told ESPN that he was just trying to focus on the game.
“In this situation I wasn’t worried about it,” said Duncan, who led a balanced Spurs effort with 21 points and 10 rebounds. “I was trying to get that lead, trying to get that win.”
But other players noted the difficult playing conditions.
“It’s like playing in my old high school gym,” Miami forward Chris Bosh told ABC-TV reporter Doris Burke. “There’s no air movement.”
With James on the bench, the San Antonio Spurs came alive behind some critical play from Danny Green, turning a 5-point deficit into what what became a 10-point lead with close to two minutes remaining.
LeBron James couldn’t move, he was locked up. You know he has to be in extreme pain to be sitting out right now.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 6, 2014
The Spur ended up winning the game 110-95, and it appeared that LeBron’s absence was quite a factor. He had scored 25 points in 33 minutes leading up to the injury, and it was after he went out that the Spurs went on the game-winning rally.
We will update with more details on the LeBron James injury as they become available.