LeBron James Tyronn Lue

LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue (circled) got into a heated verbal exchange on the bench during the Cavs loss to the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday. James, who is jokingly referred to as the real coach of the Cavaliers, was seen gesturing to Lue and yelling.

The Cavaliers are struggling to stay in fourth place ahead of the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference with a record of 39-29.

James, 33, ended the game with 35 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, according to VladTV.

A frustrated James addressed reporters in the locker room after the game. “We sustained our energy, we sustained our effort and we left everything out on the floor. Even being short-handed we still wanted to play the caliber of basketball we are accustomed to playing, and I think we did that.”

The Cavs were without 3 of their marquee players: Kevin Love (who returns to the lineup next week), Larry Nance Jr. (hamstring injury) and Tristan Thompson (ankle injury).