(Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters/David Richard)
LeBron James is a beast at the best of times, yet he’s a different animal all together in the NBA playoffs. The 2018 playoffs have been arguably been his best of his career, coming after he played a full 82 games in the regular season for the first time.
James is averaging 34 points, nine assists and just three turnovers a game this postseason. He added to his already Game 7 history, scoring 45 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists against the Pacers to send the Cavs to a showdown with the top-seeded Raptors. The Cavs made short work of the Raptors, sweeping them in a fashion no one predicted. Game th3 saw LeBron drop 38 points to go with a game winner off the board for a 3-0 series lead.
But among all this postseason greatness, which performances have stood out most? Let’s take a look at LeBron’s top 5 playoff performances.
1 2007 Eastern Conference Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Detroit Pistons Game 5
In a series locked at two games a piece with the Detroit Pistons, James strung together 25 straight points and 29 of the Cavs' last 30 points to close out the game. The Cavs went on to beat the Pistons 109-107 in double overtime to take a 3-2 series lead, behind 48 points from the King himself.
2 2016 NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Game 7
I went back and forth debating about this game being his number one performance or not, based on the situational aspect. LeBron finished the Game 7 win with a triple-double (27, 11, 11) and added three blocks, none bigger than the chase-down block on Andre Iguodala with under two minutes to play.
3 2014 Eastern Conference second round: Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets Game 4
Regardless of the roster, you cannot take away the individual impact James made in his four years with the Miami Heat, especially in the playoffs. During the regular season, the Brooklyn Nets had swept the Heat 3-0 and had high hopes against them in this series. LeBron had other ideas. On this occasion, he went off with 49 points to tie his postseason career high and give Miami a 3-1 series lead.
4 2009 Eastern Conference Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Orlando Magic Game 2
The Orlando Magic would end up beating the Cavs in six games in this series to go on to the 2009 NBA Finals, but this Game 2 featured one of the iconic LeBron James moments of all time. Down by one point, LeBron drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the Magic 95-93. Before getting swarmed by teammates, LeBron appeared to be the most surprised person in the building to see the shot go down, immediately throwing his arm up and sprinting back down the court.
5 2013 NBA Finals: Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs Game 6
LeBron had another playoff triple-double in this potential elimination game against the San Antonio Spurs. He finished with 32 pts, 11 rebounds, and ten assists, and hit a 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left that would lead to an eventual Ray Allen game-tying 3 that sent the game to overtime.
His post-game press conference added to the night. When asked if the team had Jesus on their side tonight, he responded with: "We had A Jesus on our side," referencing Ray Allen's Jesus Shuttlesworth character.
What is LeBron's greatest playoff performance? Comment below!
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