LeBron: Tatum's shoulder to the jaw 'didn't affect my game'

A. Sherrod Blakely
NBC Sports Boston

BOSTON -- Jayson Tatum has delivered some big shots throughout the postseason for the Celtics, but this isn't quite what he had in mind.
While making a play on the ball in the first half, Tatum collided with LeBron James and hit him in the face with his shoulder.
Dazed by the blow, James headed back to the locker room only to return a short time later. Still, he wasn't nearly as impactful in the second half as the Celtics pulled away for a 107-94 win.
After scoring 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting in the first quarter, James tallied 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting over the course of the next three quarters and finished with a triple-double of 42 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.


And while James' final stats were impressive, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue sensed his star player wasn't quite himself after the incident.
"He came back, but when he came back, I don't think he had the same punch that he had before he left as far as attacking the basket, playing with that force and power we talked about at shoot-around," Lue said. "We'll see how he feels."

James was asked whether he was checked out for a concussion.
"I was checked out for multiple things and I passed them all," he said. "That's why I was able to come back and finish the half."

He added: "It was a tough blow. Obviously incidental. [Tatum's] shoulder hit me right square in my jaw. Just wanted to go back to the back and make sure everything was fine. But I don't think it . . . it didn't affect my game after that."


What to Read Next