While the 2017 NBA Playoffs have been largely a snooze up to this point, the 2017 NBA Finals looks to be a television spectacular for however long this series goes, hopefully a full seven games like previous year. He rested the entire fourth quarter after the Cavs had built a 35-point lead.
Or you could call the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers, which begin Thursday, the most foregone conclusion in league history.
James also took on a Celtics team loaded with big-name talents.
Either way, buckle up. James left Cleveland for Miami in 2010 to expedite his path to a title, immediately reaching the Finals alongside stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
James had been saying that he felt like the Cavs needed to go through some adversity after a blistering 10-0 start to the postseason.
For James, the Finals are an annual rite. This marks their third straight trip to the NBA Finals and a chance at a second consecutive title.
Still, joining the team that kept him from the Finals last season has made Durant a target, fair or not, for those who believe the league has a parity problem.
Notes: Center Zaza Pachulia, who missed Games 3 and 4 at San Antonio in the Western Conference finals with a bruised right heel, is back going through full practices in preparation to play in his first career Finals. The Cavs' average margin of victory in the four wins was 25.75 points. Celtics coach Brad Stevens recently revealed that Thomas played through the injury during the critical Game 7.
His 29 points took him past Jordan and onto 5,989 postseason points. And now he is passing Jordan in the record books.
James admitted Thursday he's been feeling sick this week, and sounded worse with nasal congestion than he had over the past several days. An equivalent output this June and he'll solidify himself as one of his generation's better big-game performers - a shot-maker who loses nothing in the spotlight of the biggest stage.
Isaiah Thomas, the All-Star point guard, averaged a career-high tally of 28.9 points and 5.9 assists in his sixth National Basketball Association season. The 2015 NBA champions won a record 73 regular-season games, and Stephen Curry was the first player to unanimously win the NBA MVP Award.
"We owe our fans a better performance, and we know that, and we're going to play hard", Celtics guard Avery Bradley said.
James had come into the contest needing 28 points to pass Jordan - victor of six titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s - for first on the post-season scoring list. But Boston has the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, and with the Celtics widely expected to select Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, there's some speculation about whether Thomas is in their long-term plans. Additionally, James pulled down five rebounds, handed out six assists, blocked one shot and stole a pass. Jordan was in his rearview mirror and still James deflected the attention like a kick-out to an open shooter in the corner.
According to Elias Sports, this was Cleveland's third 40-point quarter this series.