Basketball

LeBron: We will hit top form

Reigning NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers have developed a habit of giving away late-game leads, but LeBron James is not losing sleep over that trend and feels his team are on the cusp of their top form.

What started late in the regular season and kept Cleveland from securing the Eastern Conference's top seed has carried over into the first two games of their best-of-seven series against the Indiana Pacers.

Two days after giving up a lead and escaping with a one-point win, the Cavaliers nearly squandered an 18-point cushion during a shaky fourth quarter on Monday before holding on for a 2-0 series lead.

A number of questionable shots and breakdowns on defence by Cleveland allowed Indiana to make a late charge, but none of this seems to concern the player carrying the team's title hopes.

"I'd rather have an 18-point lead than not have a lead at all," James said after Monday's game.

"We make plays down the stretch to win a ball game and, in the post-season, that's all you can ask for.

"But we're right there on turning the switch on what we really can become."

GAME THREE

Cleveland take on Indiana in Game Three tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant did not train yesterday morning and is questionable for Golden State's Western Conference play-off clash with Portland this morning, team officials said.

Durant, who suffered a left calf strain while scoring 32 points in the Warriors' Game One win on Sunday, was seen clutching his leg throughout the victory.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr confirmed that the forward is a doubt for this morning's Game Two with the Trail Blazers.

"If he didn't practise, there's concern. He's questionable," said Kerr.

Kerr said he expects Durant to return quickly, but stressed no risks would be taken with the superstar, who missed 19 games during the regular season with a knee injury.

"You have to be careful," he said, adding that a final decision on Durant's fitness would be taken after this morning's shoot-around. - WIRE SERVICES

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