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Stephen A. Smith to LeBron James: ‘Stop shooting the three!’

The Los Angeles Lakers appeared to have Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals in hand, as they took an 11-point lead in both the second and third quarters.

But they gave up most of that lead by the fourth quarter, as well as a 15-1 run to the Denver Nuggets, leading to a 108-103 loss and a 2-0 series deficit.

One major reason the Lakers lost was LeBron James, who missed all six 3-pointers he attempted, with three of those misses coming in the fourth quarter when he kept settling for such shots. His inability to knock down a trey prevented L.A. from asserting itself enough down the stretch to come up with a victory.

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith had a direct and succinct message for James: stop falling in love with the 3-pointer (h/t The Cold Wire).

“Showing your muscles every chance you get — use ’em! Stop shooting the three! Stay off the three! Please.”

James played 40 minutes in Thursday’s loss and did not sit out at all in the fourth quarter, and some have surmised that his bad shot selection was due to fatigue.

He has been attacking the basket more often and more effectively in the last few games, and he will need to stick to that mode of operation for the Lakers to make this series competitive.

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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire