LeBron James played through a myriad of injuries Sunday as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 114-111 in overtime to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
James recorded his first triple double of the playoffs, finishing with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists as Cleveland pushed the Hawks to the brink of elimination in the best-of-seven NBA semi-final series.
The banged up Cavaliers can advance to the NBA finals with a win in game four on Tuesday.
A hobbled James thought about taking himself out of the game in overtime but changed his mind. The pain on his face was plain to see when he drained a three pointer with under a minute left to give the Cavaliers the lead.
Exhausted and sore, James then dropped to the floor after Sheldon Mack’s potentially tying shot from beyond the arc bounced off the rim and out of harm’s way as the final buzzer sounded.
James, who missed his first 10 shots, ended 14-of-37 from the field. His shot to give Cleveland a 112-111 advantage with 36 seconds left was his only three pointer of the contest in front of a crowd of 20,500 at Quicken Loans Arena.
He banked in a field goal with 12 seconds left just one possession later, and Mack missed a pair of three-point attempts in the final five seconds. – Agence France-Presse