LeBron James once again proved his star quality as his 45-point haul lifted the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers in their playoff decider.
The Cavaliers have reached the NBA Finals in each of the last three seasons but the Pacers have proven a stern test for them in the first round of the postseason, levelling the series at 3-3 earlier this week.
But James was in inspired form at the Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday, also contributing nine rebounds and seven assists, with Cleveland leading for all but a brief period in the third quarter.
Tristan Thompson contributed a double-double for the Cavs – registering 15 points and 10 boards, while Victor Oladipo was a standout performer for the Pacers by amassing 30 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
Cleveland will next take on Eastern Conference top seeds the Toronto Raptors.
James Harden was in similarly spectacular form as James as the Houston Rockets took game one of their conference semi-final against the Utah Jazz with a 110-96 victory.
Harden finished with 41 points at the Toyota Center, where he made seven shots from three-point range and 10 from 11 at the free-throw line, in addition to eight rebounds and seven assists.
Clint Capela recorded 16 points and 12 boards for the Rockets, with Chris Paul also contributing 17 on the scoreboard.
Donovan Mitchell continued his rich vein of form to register 21 points for the Jazz, as did small forward Jae Crowder, but once the hosts got their noses in front after two minutes they never looked back.News Now - Sport News