Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is now second on the NBA Finals list of all-time scorers.
After scoring 29 points in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has passed NBA legend and five-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-most points in NBA Finals history.
James, a three-time NBA champion who has been to the NBA Finals nine times (with eight consecutive trips since 2010-2011), has now scored 1,327 total points in his Finals career. Abdul-Jabbar, who reached the NBA Finals ten times in his career, retired with 1,317 total points in the Finals.
James still trails, and will still trail NBA legend Jerry West after this Finals series is over, even if he averaged 50.0 points per game for the rest of the series.
West, arguably the best scorer of his era, scored 1,679 total points in the NBA Finals (nine appearances). Ironically, James’ Finals record is often compared to West’s, who went 1-8 in the NBA Finals thanks to a string of Finals defeats at the hands of Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics.
Like West, James has found himself playing against a dynasty team. After years of battling with the San Antonio Spurs dynasty, led by Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan, James now is facing arguably the best team in league history in the Golden State Warriors.
James went 1-2 against the Spurs dynasty and is already 1-2 against the Warriors dynasty, with him team trailing the Warriors 0-2 in the series despite averaging 40.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game on 55.8 percent shooting the field, 45.5 percent shooting from the perimeter and 85.0 percent shooting from the free-throw line.
When you see numbers like that, it’s nearly unfathomable to process James’ 3-5 NBA Finals record. He had a couple of duds in his first two experiences in the NBA Finals (2007 and 2011) but since been the best player on either team, without question, in every appearance. Even in 2017, as James became the first player in NBA history to lead both teams in points, rebounds and assists.
It’s honestly a travesty as he’s played well enough individually to be 6-2 in the NBA Finals.
*All stats gathered from www.basketball-reference.com