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Kevin Durant, LeBron James.

Why LeBron James needs to have an all-time performance in Game 4

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The most important matchup of the 2017 NBA Finals has been between Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant.

Though Durant's team has gotten off to a 3-0 start in the title series, watching the two superstars battle it out has been very entertaining for fans.

Heading into Friday night's potentially decisive Game 4, Durant has scored 102 points and has 30 rebounds and 18 assists, compared with James's 96 points, 37 rebounds and 31 assists.

Though things have statistically been very similar between two of the best players in the game, only one - LeBron - is going to have to do even more to help his team win at home on Friday night.

Here's how huge of a performance King James is going to have to post in Game 4 to keep the Cavs from being eliminated.

2017 NBA Finals - Game Three

Put up a massive triple-double

LeBron recorded a triple-double in Game 2, posting 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough, as the Warriors cruised to an easy 132-113 victory.

In front of his home fans on Friday night, James is going to have to put up a mammoth triple-double, something to the tune of 40 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists.

Obviously, that's asking a lot of LeBron, but that's what his team needs from him. Though Kyrie Irving has been an effective scorer, he hasn't been the distributor LeBron has been this series.

And, while Kevin Love has been dominant on the glass, he hasn't put up the scoring numbers needed to help share the offensive burden with James and Irving.

Therefore, it's going to fall on King James to channel his inner Russell Westbrook and do it all. He'll need to have the ball in his hands more often and be more effective with it when he has it or else Cleveland's season will come to an end.

2017 NBA Finals - Game Three

Get to the free-throw line

So far in this series, LeBron has only made it to the free-throw line 23 times and has made only 17 of his attempts from the charity stripe.

He'll need to do at least that much from the line in Game 4 if the Cavs are going to have a chance to slow down the Warriors.

In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors, LeBron got to the line 21 times and made 15 of his attempts.

He'll have to have a similar performance - perhaps with a higher conversion rate - on Friday night to keep the Cavaliers in the game.

2017 NBA Finals - Game Three

Take his time

The Cavs have tried to keep pace with the Warriors high-powered offense so far this series and it has clearly failed.

Therefore, Cleveland's best chance at a victory will come in an ugly, low-scoring contest. If the Cavs can use up the shot clock on most of their possessions, get to the free-throw line and avoid letting the Warriors run out in transition, they'll at least have a chance to stave off elimination.

If LeBron can use his talents to help Cleveland dominate possession and keep the Warriors' offense out of rhythm with constant free-throw breaks, the Cavaliers may just be able to survive and force a Game 5 in Oakland.

Topics:
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
NBA Finals
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference

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