Lebron James keeps his playoff streak alive.
LeBron has never lost in the first round of the playoffs during his 15 year NBA career. His first playoff appearance was an opening round series against the Washington Wizards in 2006. James had never played a game 7 in the first round as well. With so much on the line, losing was not an option.
James scored 45 points in a 105-101 win against the Pacers. He has scored over 40 points in 3 of their 4 playoff wins against Indiana, who challenged the 4-time NBA to exert maximum effort, this early in the playoffs.
“I’m burnt right now,” said James. “I’m not thinking about Toronto right now until tomorrow. I’m ready to go home. Can we? I’m tired. I want to go home.”
He got some much needed help from his teammates in Game 7, but still played over 40 minutes to get the victory. Playing 40 plus minutes became mundane in this series and may be the only way for the Cavs to win in the 2018 playoffs. His overall game included 9 rebounds and 7 assist. Cavaliers center, Tristan Thompson, provided the spark that the Cavs needed with his double double. His 15 points and 10 rebounds were timely and prevented the Pacers big men from getting into rhythm. Kevin Love, JR Smith and George Hill all scored in double figures as well.
For the Pacers, Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison scored a combined 53 points. Oladipo lead the way with 30, with most of the points coming in the second half. Since his arrival to Indiana, he has embraced being the leader of this team, and showed that the Pacers are a team on the rise.
“If you don’t respect the Indiana Pacers now, I have no respect for you,” said Oladipo. “Nobody thought we would be here.”
The Pacers gave the Cavs all they had, but it was not enough. They may have been the better overall team, but the Cavs had the best player in the world.
Cleveland will travel to Toronto for Game 1 of the semi finals series against the Raptors on Tuesday. Expect Drake to be front and center, and ready to troll LeBron and the Cavaliers.