NBA Finals: Ranking LeBron James' 5 best games against the Golden State Warriors
LeBron James' 4-year stint at the Cavaliers was a run to be remembered. He led Cleveland to the Finals in every one of those seasons and donned a central role in a rivalry that will echo throughout the Finals books for years to come. LeBron chose to return to Cleveland and promised he would bring home a championship. He fell short of that promise in his first year in 2015, but bounced back in 2016 to end the championship drought that had plagued the city of Cleveland for 52 years.
The Kid from Akron played his 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th season with the Cavs franchise after leaving the Miami Heat at the end of the 2013-14 season. He joined the likes of a gifted ball-handler in Kyrie Irving and a dominant scorer in Kevin Love and laid the foundation for a franchise that would dominate the East for 4 years to come.
Call it fate or coincidence, but the Cavaliers had the Warriors waiting for them in the Finals in all 4 seasons, despite both teams going through grueling transition phases.
Bron spearheaded the Cavs' post-season campaign, defying his age and posting inhuman numbers both on the offense and defense. What follows is an effort to pick 5 of his most valiant efforts in the NBA Finals against the Warriors.
"CLEEVVELANNDD .. this is for you"
#5 Game 4: 2017 Finals
Stat line: 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds
Before Game 4 tipped off, Warriors had a fatal 3-0 lead in the 2017 NBA Finals, putting Cavs on the brink of an embarrassing Finals sweep. LeBron's heroics saved the homecourt and the series shifted back to Oakland, where Cavs eventually lost the trophy to the Warriors in a 4-1 series loss.
The game was notable for shattering a number of NBA Finals records. Their 49 points in the first quarter were the most in any frame in Finals history, and it looked for a while like they’d threaten the all-time single-game points record of 148. The Cavaliers finished the game with 24 three-pointers, which easily broke the Finals record for the most threes in a game set by the Warriors in Game 2.
LeBron James tallied his ninth triple-double of the Finals (31 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists), surpassing Magic Johnson for the most triple-doubles in a championship series. While he contributed his usual array of flashy plays, including a second-half alley-oop to himself off the backboard, it was King James’ steady play that drove these Cavaliers.