Again, it seems more prudent to lean toward the latter because Silver is glomming onto all the old, reliable myths about the American player. The only thing he left out this week is a blanket condemnation of AAU basketball.

He even said Thursday, We’re seeing a dichotomy in terms of the international players. They’re coming in when they come in at 19, many of them have been professional for up to three years before they come into the league and have a very different experience than what we’re seeing from American players coming through our college programs.

James picked it up in the second quarter. He hit a layup off a give-and-go, and then added a dunk that cut Boston’s lead to 10. That seemed to mark the start of contagious play. Iman Shumpert hit a 3-pointer and Kevin Love dunked off a long rebound. Game over, right?

Well, not quite. James picked up his third foul on Marcus Smart’s 3-point attempt with 8:55 left in the half.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue opted to leave James in. Why didn’t Lue take him out?

I didn’t want to, Lue said. We were down, we needed his pop and his spunk and I didn’t think he would get a fourth called on him, but he did.

James picked up the fourth foul when Terry Rozier drew a charge a little more than two minutes later at 6:46. James spent the rest of the first half standing with arms folded near the bench, watching as Irving helped keep that deficit at 10 heading into halftime.

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