Maybe aliens can make sense of LeBron James
Ultimately, this night will slip through the fingers that hold LeBron James’ epic career at the top of NBA history. James’ performance Thursday night in a 119-114 victory over the Indiana Paces to take a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven series will only get footnotes in future books, will only be mentioned in passing by fans going over his many great playoff games. It wasn’t his greatest performance.
But if aliens came to the planet Earth and asked “What is LeBron James?” — Thursday night’s game would be a great way to start the explanation.
James passed Kobe Bryant for third all-time in playoff scoring He did so on a night he finished with a triple-double (41 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) It was his highest-scoring playoff triple-double It ties his 10th-highest scoring playoff performance He led a comeback from 26-points down, and in doing so finished with 28 points, six rebounds, and seven assists in the second-half alone
More than that, though, James outright decided this game was over. There are very few players in NBA history who can come out and simply dictate reality to the other squad in a playoff game, but that’s what James did. He led a unit that featured neither Kyrie Irving nor Kevin Love — both on the bench — and used them to fuel a dominant run on both ends. He hit 4-of-8 from 3-point range, exploded to the rim, he burned Paul George on an inbound play, he tried to tear the rim off on a breakaway dunk .
It was everything that makes James the best player on the