TORONTO -- Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue believes he made a mistake by not calling more plays for LeBron James in his team's Eastern Conference finals Game 3 loss to the Raptors. James said he believes the team will have a better game plan for Monday's Game 4.
The Cavs scored just 84 points in the loss, their lowest scoring output in 50 games. Kyrie Irving, who had been the Cavs' leading scorer and shot-taker in the postseason, and Kevin Love both had miserable shooting nights, combining to go 4-of-28.
James scored 24 points but took just 17 shots.
"I think I should have called more plays to make [James] dominant," Lue said Sunday. "I think we continued to run plays that had been effective and working throughout the course of this series, knowing that Kyrie and Kevin could get going at any time. I should have put the ball in LeBron's hands a little bit more to let him create and let him draw double-teams. So that was more on me."
Part of the reason the Cavs offense has been so potent in the postseason has been its ball movement. Much of it centered on using James more as a facilitator, either from the perimeter or with his back to the basket, than as a scorer.
James is averaging a career-low 23.5 points per game in the playoffs, but before the Game 3 loss, the Cavs were averaging a whopping 109 points a game in the postseason.
"It's always a fine line, for sure. Obviously the ball, as far as me initiating offense, I don't handle it as much," James said. "With Kyrie kind of setting the offense and then [Matthew Dellavedova] coming in, the ball has kind of been taken out of my hands a little bit. I'm OK with that. But there is a point in time where some of the guys are not going, maybe let me see if I can get it going. But last night just didn't happen that way. We'll have a better game plan going into Game 4."
The Raptors made limiting Irving a major focus in Game 3, and they crowded him when he had the ball much more than in the first two games of the series. Irving ended up with just one assist in 38 minutes, and his night ended early when he suffered a blow to the chest that knocked the wind out of him.
Lue, who has preached accountability since taking over as coach in January, blamed himself for not reacting better to the strategy -- specifically, not going to James in the post.
"I have to do a better job of putting them in positions to isolate and be productive," Lue said. "I thought we went away from posting LeBron where they had a double-team and getting easy shots and easy 3-point shots. That's on me."
James, though, made it clear he didn't want to overreact because Irving and Love had been such offensive weapons earlier in the series.
"We can't lose confidence in those guys. They helped us get to this point," James said. "We understand that in order for us to win every single night, we have to have our guys play well. It doesn't mean the ball is going to go in all the time, but we can't go away from them just because it's not going in."