Here's a news flash: LeBron James is playing really well right now.
(cue the 'Dynamite-Drop In, Dino' chants)
Seriously, what the 4-time MVP is doing right now is nothing short of remarkable as James and the Cavaliers stand one win away from sweeping the Raptors after winning Game 3 on Friday night by a 115-94 count.
If you take the Cavs' seven straight wins in this postseason and add in the Wine and Gold's final three wins over the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, here's how LeBron's numbers average out (Thanks to Fox Sports' Nick Wright):
LeBron James, starting with Game 5 of the Finals:— nick wright (@getnickwright) May 6, 2017
10 Wins, 0 Losses
And yes, the Cavs have won ten straight playoff games.
James' stat line on Friday read 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. He was a very encouraging 15-16 at the free throw line. "When you get to the free throw line on the road, it quiets the crowd down when you make those shots," said LeBron afterwards. "But it also helps you set your defense."
LeBron had plenty of help in the win over Toronto. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving scored 16 points apiece, but it was Kyle Korver's three-point shooting off the bench that proved to be the turning point in the victory.
Korver hit back-to-back threes to close out the third quarter to put the Cavaliers back on top, 79-77. Korver then opened the fourth quarter with yet another triple to help stretch the lead. He finished with 14 points.
"He’s automatic," LeBron said of Korver. "When he steps on the floor, eyes have to be on him. His ability to be out on the floor just helps us all out a lot. He’s been huge for our ballclub. "
Korver teams with J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to form a very effective triumvirate at shooting guard for Cleveland. Each has had big moments so far in these playoffs and LeBron has certainly taken note, "They all compliment each other. To have those three shooting guards not just do it on one end, but do it on both ends is huge. It’s great to have them."
The Cavaliers will come back out on Sunday afternoon in Toronto and look to sweep their way into the Eastern Conference Finals. A win would likely mean another week of rest before playing either Boston or Washington, but James didn't want to think about any of that after Friday's Game 3 triumph.
"The only thing that’s important is that we come out and play our game, " said The King. "It’s a quick turnaround with an early game on Sunday. We don’t need to be thinking about a sweep or getting some rest. We need to be thinking about what we’ve got to do defensively and offensively coming into Sunday."
When asked how James has been so successful at sweeping teams in the East over the last couple of years, he cautioned, "It’s very difficult. We’re very prideful players. When your back is against the wall, you play for pride, for the habits that you’ve built all year. So you become a very dangerous team. For me, I just focus on that one game, I don’t think about a sweep."
But you know James and the Cavs would LOVE to finish this series off on Sunday and get a few extra days before facing the Celtics or the Wizards.
In the meantime, enjoy Friday's LeBron James Says highlight of the night. Because it's like buttah!
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