Looking back at 3 great LeBron James East Semifinals games with Cavs

Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Forward LeBron James, then of the Cleveland Cavaliers, shoots the ball. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

LeBron erupts at the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of the 2009 East Semis

The final game comes from James’ first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers from the 2008-2009 season. In this game, LeBron and the Cavs matched up with an Atlanta Hawks team who notably had Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, Josh Smith, and Al Horford.

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The Hawks were a much more well-rounded team in terms of playmaking/options, but, with the Cavaliers being led by their star in James and a stifling defense that vaulted them to the East’s top seed, it resulted in this series ending in a four-game sweep.

This was by far James’ most impressive performance in the series and possibly of his entire career with the Cavaliers in the East Semifinals.

LeBron could not be stopped offensively, totaling 47 points against a team with very skilled forwards making the feat all the more impressive. On top of that, he shot extremely efficient from the field, shooting 15-for-25, per Basketball Reference.

The King was also lights out from three-point territory, shooting five-for-10 from behind the line.

He also distributed the ball extremely well with eight assists, too, and that definitely helped out Zydrunas Ilgauskas (14 points), Delonte West (12 points) and bench contributor Joe Smith, who had seven points. Plus, this assist total was enough to eclipse the rest of James’ teammates combined.

James also led both teams in rebounds with 12, pulling down ten defensive rebounds and two rebounds offensively.

Defensively, LeBron did not quite fill up the basic box score with only one block and one steal, but, with LeBron being the key part of the Cavaliers’ defense as an impact player, coupled with Z, he was still very active off-ball and the team only allowed 82 points.

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The Wine and Gold would go on to win here, leading to a 3-0 lead, and again, an eventual sweep.