LeBron James turns up his game another notch in the playoffs.
After leading his team to a sweep over the Indiana Pacers in the first round, King James dropped 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, a steal, a block and three turnovers in 41 dominant minutes in a 116-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
It was yet another example of why he’s considered to be the best basketball player in the universe, as if we need to be reminded of that fact.
In typical LeBron fashion, however, his performance meant more than a simple win or loss. The history books had to be broken out once again.
It was his 92nd career double-double in the playoffs, which ties him with a legendary Hall of Famer for 12th on the all-time list.
Tying Chuck's cumulative playoff mark at age 32 is pretty impressive.
James’ longevity for someone who has played so many minutes is also wildly impressive and hasn't ever been seen before.
His 34th and 35th points of the night came in style as well, as you can see in the clip below.
He had just as much bounce then as he did in the first quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, James and his co-stars were still on the court despite holding nearly a 20-point lead. The dunk above was an exclamation point that sent a message to the Raptors.
In the performance, he also tied Kobe Bryant with a playoff scoring record.
After the game in his press conference, James expressed confidence in his team and was proud of how they reacted after a long eight-day layoff in between series. Long waits in between series has been a recent debate, as some argue that the waiting period is beneficial, while others feel as though it's harmful.
James offered his thoughts in the video below:
"That was the mystery coming in, how we would come out," James said. "But the energy was phenomenal ... it was a great start for us.”
Game 2 will take place in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night. LeBron and the Cavaliers have a strong opportunity to earn to their sixth-straight playoff victory and at this rate, they may not be slowed down until they reach the NBA Finals, where LeBron's teams always happen to end up somehow.
After all, that’s when the season really starts for King James.