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LeBron James Zeroes in on Fourth Championship

As the final buzzer sounded on game four of the 2020 NBA Finals, LeBron James took one step closer to his fourth-ever championship. Anthony Davis put the final touches with a three-point dagger with less than 40 seconds to play, giving Los Angeles a nine-point lead. With this victory, the Los Angeles Lakers took control of the series, three games to one over the Miami Heat

And once again, while playing in his 10th NBA Finals, James broke multiple NBA records. Perhaps the most illustrious and enduring career in NBA history, James’ career deserves some respect from the Last Word on Pro Basketball staff. 

LeBron James, King of the NBA Finals 

10th NBA Finals Appearance 

James began his most recent streak of historic performances before game one of the 2020 NBA Finals tipped off. After defeating the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals, James punched his ticket to his 10th NBA Finals appearance. 

Only three other players throughout the entire history of the NBA have reached the NBA Finals at least 10 times. All three, which includes Bill Russell, Sam Jones, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are Hall of Famers. King James became the fourth in 2020, and of course, will surely punch his own Hall of Fame ticket when his career is wrapped up. 

The Best Closer of All-Time… LeBron James

While reading this article, don’t be mistaken because this isn’t a baseball reference. But, LeBron James is the best closer in NBA history. Period. 

So what does this mean, exactly? When James is in a position to win, whether it’s to close out a playoff series or game when leading late, there’s no one better.

At the end of the third quarter in game four last night, James and the Lakers held a 75-70 lead entering the final frame. Right where James wanted his team to be.

After Tuesday’s victory, the 2020 Lakers moved to a staggering 56-0 record when leading after three quarters. The best record in NBA history. As Nick Wright of Fox Sports pointed out on Twitter, the 2018 Cleveland Cavaliers were 50-1 when leading after three quarters. This is the fourth-best record in NBA history and James was also a member of that Cleveland team. 

Wright continued to point out that LeBron James’ teams, in his last two full seasons, are 106-1 when leading after three quarters. 

Not only does James close out teams when leading in individual games. He’s also one of the best at doing this in playoff series. 

Throughout his illustrious playoff career, James has played in 48 closeout games. In other words, with his team having the opportunity to win/finish a playoff series. James is 38-10 in those games. When presented a closeout game in the NBA Finals, James is a perfect 3-0. 

Game Five of the NBA Finals will be James’ next opportunity to improve this record. And based on his immaculate record doing so in the NBA Finals, it looks like James will win his fourth ring in the NBA Bubble. 

Individual Stat King 

James wasn’t done adding some more highlights to this game four victory on Tuesday. These next two highlights came in the form of individual accomplishments. 

James finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday’s win. According to Elias Sports Bureau, this was his 24th NBA Finals game with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds. This passes Elgin Baylor for the most all-time. 

James has also recorded 500 points, 150 rebounds, and 150 assists in the entire 2020 playoffs. This marked the sixth time he’s accomplished the feat. Throughout NBA history, Larry Bird is the only other player to hit these marks, once in 1987. 

Game Four’s victory was vital for the series momentum and continued to shape the narrative of LeBron James’ championship career. James and the Lakers will attempt to close out the series on Friday, October 9th at 9 pm ET on ABC. 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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