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LeBron James Apologizes to Tristan Thompson for Argument During Game vs. Pacers

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2017

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) drives against Indiana Pacers' Jeff Teague (44) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James publicly apologized to Tristan Thompson after the teammates had a heated on-court exchange during their 135-130 double-overtime win Sunday over the Indiana Pacers.

"I have to do a better job of not showing up my teammates out on the floor. I had the right intentions in my mind, but I had the wrong intentions come out of my mouth," James told Fox Sports Ohio after the game (via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com).

"I take full responsibility for that as the leader of the team. So I got to be a lot better at that and be able to keep that in-house in the locker room and when we're watching film."

James and Thompson went back-and-forth regarding the latter's mistakes covering Pacers forward Paul George

James began the exchange after a Kevin Love three put the Cavs ahead by four with 26 seconds left, and Thompson appeared to take offense to the four-time MVP's public admonishment. Thompson began jawing back during the timeout.

"I was a little bit too demonstrative at that point in the game," James said. "He worked hard for our team, he's a big-time player...but the way it came out was—it didn't look good on TV."

The Cavaliers have nonetheless won two straight since a three-game losing streak, a run that has allowed them to keep pace in the loss column with the Boston Celtics. The East's top two teams meet Wednesday night in a matchup that may determine the conference's top seed.

Defense has been the crux of Cleveland's problems since the All-Star break. Only the Los Angeles Lakers have a worse defensive efficiency since the break than the Cavaliers, who are 10-11 in that time frame, per NBA.com. They allowed 113.2 points per 100 possessions during a 7-10 March.

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