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An (updated) history of LeBron James’ Game 7s

Hint: he’s really good.

2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers weren’t expected to make the playoffs after losing their franchise player, Paul George, for what was considered an underwhelming haul of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. They ended up being a game away from knocking off the three-time reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers and advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

But there was horrible news out there for Indiana fans that proved prophetic again. LeBron James, the timeless wizard and indestructible hulk, is alive and well, and has still dominated all of the Game 7s he’s ever played in. That now includes this Game 7, during which he shut the Pacers down with 45 points in a 105-101 win.

LeBron’s dominance hasn’t always equated to wins in the past, but it didn’t matter this time. He’s now won 5-of-7 such occasions, going undefeated this decade after coming up short twice in the conference semis last decade.

Let’s take a look back at The King’s Game 7 history.

Pistons 79, Cavaliers 61 — May 21, 2006

Once you’re done hysterically laughing about the 61-point total (the third-lowest ever in a playoff game), let’s begin talking about how LeBron made more shots from the field than the entire rest of his team combined. He had 27 points on 11-of-24 shooting and eight assists. His team went 9-of-31 from the field.

Not bad for a 22-year-old carrying a pathetically constructed team to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, huh.

Here’s how he scored his points:

How James won 50 games with a trash heap of a roster that featured Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Larry Hughes behind him is beyond words, but that’s for another day. The point here is that James will wreck your team in a Game 7 regardless of who he’s surrounded by.

Celtics 97, Cavaliers 92 — May 18, 2008

It was another losing effort for James, who had 45 of his team’s 92 points because Oh My Lord this team was somehow more depleted than the 2006 one. James scored his points efficiently on just 29 shots, adding six assists, five rebounds and two steals. The next-leading scorer was Delonte West with 15 points, then precisely zero other players scored in double figures. Ilgauskas had eight points, Sasha Pavlovic had seven and Joe Smith had six.

It’s a miracle that the Cavs LeBron James took the eventual NBA champions to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Please watch:

Heat 101, Celtics 88 — June 9, 2012

Surrounding LeBron James with talent actually worked in 2012, when the Heat would go on to win the championship. LeBron scored 31 points on 21 shots in this Eastern Conference Finals Game 7, beating the Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce Celtics, adding 12 rebounds and two assists.

Dwyane Wade had 23 points, and Chris Bosh had 19 off the bench.

Heat 99, Pacers 76 — June 3, 2013

After the first quarter, this game was never close. LeBron closed out the Eastern Conference Finals with 32 points on 17 shots, eight rebounds and four assists. Dwyane Wade had 21 points, and Ray Allen scored 10.

Paul George had... seven points. Oof.

The Heat went on to win their second consecutive title — but it took another Game 7.

Heat 95, Spurs 88 — June 20, 2013

Guess what? LeBron played well in another Game 7 just 17 days after the conference finals!

The King dropped 37 points on 23 shots with 12 rebounds and four assists and two steals to knock off Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan’s Spurs. LeBron hit 5-of-10 threes, and sunk all eight of the free throws he attempted.

Cavaliers 93, Warriors 89 — June 20, 2016

We can start with The Block, but y’all remember this one.

In case you need a reminder, the unanimous MVP and the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavs. James scored 27 points on 24 shots, with 11 assists and 11 rebounds, and completed his crowning moment in NBA history.

Cavaliers 105, Pacers 101 — April 29, 2018

LeBron wasn’t going to let the Cavaliers lose. He vowed to play the entire game, then dropped 26 points in the first half. Cramping ruined his plans to go the full 48, but his teammates picked him up at the beginning of the fourth quarter to extend Cleveland’s lead. Then, LeBron brought it home by hitting the game-sealing layup and then snatching the ensuing defensive rebound.

The bottom line here is that LeBron James is downright vicious in Game 7s, even when he has the inferior team. The Pacers now know this for sure after witnessing an afternoon of James domination.