On Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers completed the sweep of the Indiana Pacers with a 106-102 victory. LeBron James finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds. It was the 91st double-double of his playoff career (fourth most in the last 30 seasons). Stats & Info takes a look at the first-round numbers over LeBron’s career.
The sweep continued a trend that has emerged for LeBron throughout his career -- owning the opening round. In each of the seven times James has gone up 3-0 in a playoff series, his team won in a sweep. James has now won 21 straight first-round games, the longest such streak since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1984, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
LeBron entered Sunday tied with Tim Duncan for most best-of-seven sweeps in NBA history. LeBron is 48-7 all time in first-round games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his .873 win percentage in first-round games is the best among the more than 300 players to play at least 25 playoff games since the current 16-team playoff format began in 1984.
In his career, LeBron is 12-0 in first-round playoff series. Under the current 16-team playoff format, the only players with more first-round series wins without a loss are Robert Horry (16-0) and Derek Fisher (16-0).
Memorable moments from the series
Game 1 – The Cavaliers took a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter. However, the Pacers had the ball in the final moments with a chance to go up 1-0 on the Cavs. As Paul George was double-teamed, he was forced to pass to CJ Miles. Miles missed a 14-foot jumper and the Cavs escaped with a one-point home win. It was LeBron’s 132nd win through 200 career playoff games, second-most wins in a player’s first 200 career playoff games, trailing only Scottie Pippen (134).
Game 3 – The Cavs trailed by 25 points at halftime before coming back to win 119-114. It was the largest halftime comeback in NBA postseason history. James recorded 41 points (28 in the second half), 13 rebounds and 12 assists. He recorded the seventh 40-point triple-double in NBA postseason history and joined Oscar Robertson as the only players with more than one (each has two).
James also passed Kobe Bryant (5,640) for the third-most points in NBA postseason history. It was LeBron’s 20th straight first-round round win, tying the longest such streak since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1983-84.
Game 4 – The Cavs once again blew a lead (this time 13 points) as the Pacers went up 102-100 with 1:31 left. LeBron hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:07 left and the Cavs hung on as James moved to 52-0 in the playoffs when taking a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter. It was the first time that the Pacers’ Paul George was swept in a playoff series.