James’ anger was directed at the Lakers’ lineup as they attempted to come back from a six-point deficit after three quarters. Instead, the Lakers were outscored 27-18 and lost the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals.
Spacing issues in connection with having Rajon Rondo on the floor were apparently the reason for James’ anger, with Rondo playing more minutes due to Alex Caruso’s foul trouble.
James has often been a vocal presence on the court during his 17 seasons in the NBA, which has included visibly upbraiding teammates who fail to produce at a high level.
That approach has proven to be a success for James, whose past teams have reached the NBA Finals nine times and captured NBA titles on three occasions. After leading his teams to those three championships, James was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player on each occasion.
The Lakers will attempt to even the Western Conference semifinal series on Sunday night in Game 2, which is set for 8:30 p.m. EST.