LeBron James has taken over the 2016 NBA Finals.
Pushed to the brink of elimination, James has powered the Cleveland Cavaliers to back-to-back wins—scoring 82 points in two games and crushing the winningest team in NBA history with the force of his unbelievable ability to fill up the stat sheet in every way possible.
James has been the best player on the court, and it isn’t even close:
LeBron James leads everyone in everything … literally pic.twitter.com/gvhXehdaDV
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 17, 2016
The King leads the series in every important statistical category. Scoring, passing, rebounding, defending. James has done it all for the Cavs, who are now one win at Oracle Arena on Sunday away from making NBA history.
No team has ever come back from 3-1 down to win the NBA Finals.
LeBron just won’t be denied.
Former teammate Mike Miller told ESPN’s J.A. Adande that “He ain’t gonna lose,” and “He ain’t gonna lose Game 7, either.”
It’s hard to envision Miller being wrong, even with the reigning champions heading home and the two-time NBA MVP still standing for the Warriors.
On Thursday night, James became the fifth player in NBA Finals history to score 40 or more points in back-to-back games. The numbers don’t seem possible, but in Games 5 and 6, James produced 82 points, 24 rebounds, 18 assists, seven steals and six blocks, while turning over the basketball just three times. He’s made 32 field goals, with seven threes, and there’s been stretches in which the best basketball player on the planet has single-handedly taken over the sport’s biggest stage.
James scored 18 straight points for the Cavs during the second half of Game 6. He also scored or assisted on 27 straight points spanning the final two quarters, and 35 of 36 from the 5:38 point in the third quarter to the 2:59 mark in the fourth, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
When Kyrie Irving finally heard of James’ second half dominance, all he could do was shake his head and smile—a look of equal amazement and disbelief in what his teammate has accomplished over the last two basketball games.
Steph Curry is the league’s MVP, and rightfully so, but there’s still very few players in the history of the game who could match James head-to-head when he’s playing at the peak of his powers.
Through six games of the Finals, James is averaging 30.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.2 blocks. He’s been within three rebounds or three assists of a triple-double in every game, but even the volume numbers can’t fully describe how transcendent James has been to force a Game 7.
LeBron is taking back his kingdom one point, one rebound, one assist at a time. He’s now one more historic night away from completing one of the most improbable and incredible feats in Finals history.