BOSTON — It's OK, Celtics fans.
You're forgiven for hoping that LeBron James' elbow was really hurting him badly. Praying that "The King" would be a shadow of himself, and maybe shoot a free throw or two lefty.
But, one reverse dunk later, the truth was terribly clear. LeBron's elbow would not be holding him down. He was back.
"I think he's healthy," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "His elbow looked very good tonight, so enough with the elbow injury, alright. I think he's healthy now."
After four days of being called everything from a cry-baby to a flat-out liar, and some even suggesting he was looking forward to free agency and had checked out on the Cavaliers, James had a simple response. He went off.
Looking increasingly confident, with the trademark swagger missing from Game 2 in full swing, James erupted for a game-high 38 points, and fell just short of a triple-double with eight rebounds and seven assists. That all while not hitting a single shot in the fourth quarter with the game well out of reach.
In a sport where a single player can often mean the difference in a series, James made a statement that he was not only the best player in the building last night, but that he is still the best player in the world, elbow injury or not.
"He was great," said Rivers. "He was playing 'Horse' out there. You knew it was coming. We told our guys he was going to grab the ball and was going to attack. He did, but I didn't think we gave him any resistance."
LeBron wasted no time setting the tone, turning in what was likely the play of the playoffs thus far when he soared to slam down a reverse dunk.