Lebron Makes A Statement
The Cleveland Cavaliers treat the NBA postseason as if it were a heavyweight fight – they give it a promotional nickname or theme.
This year’s is “Whatever It Takes.”
That can be a tall order. In this case, about 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds.
That order is LeBron “King” James.
The Cavaliers needed everything in the King’s treasury on Wednesday night to even their playoff series with the Indiana Pacers at a game apiece. And the King provided generously.
James scored the first 13 points of the game – and Cleveland’s first 16 – on his way to 29 in the first half and 46 overall in a 100-97 victory. This marked his 20th career postseason game with at least 40 points, tying him for second all-time with Jerry West behind only Michael Jordan (38).
“I just felt like I was in a rhythm,” said James, who also had 12 rebounds in his 40 minutes of playing time.
After the Game 1 loss, coach Tyronn Lue encouraged James to get after it a little more, to look for more shots, not to be so passive. Hard to believe he had to push James, but true. James, after studying the tapes from the first game, took the coach’s advice.
“I think he just did a great job being aggressive and attacking the basket,” Lue said.
Clutch, too. With the lead down to one in the fourth quarter, LeBron hit a pair of free throws with 22.2 seconds left, and then did it again about four seconds later.
Whatever it takes? That was pretty much what it took against the Pacers.
The teams resume their series in Indianapolis on Friday night.
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