DALLAS -- The heat was the story at Game 1 of the NBA Finals - the actual heat in the arena after the air conditioner malfunctioned at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
The sell-out crowd were fanning themselves as the game between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs became a sweltering struggle.
Players cooled themselves with ice bags and wet towels but the heat eventually claimed the biggest star in the game.
"Feels like I played whole game already," LeBron James said mid-game. "Going to need water, they are trying to smoke us out of here."
James received intravenous fluids and changed his uniform at halftime, but couldn't prevent leg cramps from overtaking him.
James left the game with 7:31 remaining in the 4th quarter.
He returned to the game with a driving layup but immediately signaled to come out again, limping to the bench before he was carried off by team personnel.
"You don't want to see your best player come out of the game," said teammate Dwyane Wade.
The Spurs went on a scoring spree during James' absence and the Heat never recovered, losing the game 110-95.
Overnight, Gatorade took a playful jab at James, tweeting: "The person cramping wasn't our client. Our clients can take the heat."
Back in 2003, Gatorade and James were unable to come to terms on a sponsorship deal. He eventually signed with a rival company.