LeBron Protects His House
It was another stellar performance from the King of Cleveland as he finished the job his teammates — *gasp* — started in the earlier quarters of Game 5. While he didn’t score over 40 for the first time since Game 2, Cleveland’s only other win in the series so far. Is this what we call a trend? Furthermore, is this a defensive strategy the Magic can employ in Game 6, that is, let LeBron score and defend the rest of his running mates? As you can see in the lead graphic, James had an impressive triple-dip, his fourth of his playoff career.
Not only did James fill the stat sheet, his method of attack was probably the most efficient the Cavaliers have looked all series. For the first three quarters, James let his teammates do the work and even though they blew a huge 1st quarter lead, they did just enough to get the Cavaliers to the fourth quarter without losing touch with the Magic. From there, it was King James time. The King of the NBA scored 17 fourth quarter points to finish the deal, keep his team alive and guarantee at least one more game in this entertaining series.
Credit is also due to Mo Williams, who finally broke out of his series-long shooting slump — at least for one game — to pace LeBron with 24 points while going 6-9 from behind the arc. Daniel Gibson came off the bench to hit some huge 3-pointers for the Cavaliers after not playing a whole lot of minutes in games 1-4.
As for the Magic, they now face a we-probably-need-to-win-this-now situation in Game 6 on Saturday. Granted, they’ve already proved they can win big games on the road, but it would be foolish to squander their one-game home court advantage. Do you honestly think Stan Van Gundy wants to take his chances with LeBron in a Game 7 in Cleveland?
Yeah, me neither.
I’m left wondering if his team, who let Cleveland get any shot they wanted in Game 5, will respond with the same urgency as LeBron did last night.