James dominates with historic triple-double

It was the LeBron James show in Cleveland on Sunday night, as he carried the Cavaliers to an overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks, 114-111. The win gave the Cavs a 3-0 series lead.

Chasing history

There are several historical notes to take away from James’ big triple-double.

• According to Elias Sports Bureau research, James is the first player in NBA history to reach the totals of 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists in a playoff game.

• He is the first player since Charles Barkley in 1993 with 35 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a playoff game. In the past 30 years, the only other player to do that was James Worthy in 1988.

• This was James’ sixth career playoff game with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Oscar Robertson has the most such games in postseason history, with eight. Charles Barkley and Wilt Chamberlain have two apiece.

• James had his 12th career playoff triple-double and is now second all-time in that category, although far behind Magic Johnson, who has 30. He was previously tied with Jason Kidd with 11.

• James recorded his 75th career postseason game with 30 points, breaking a tie with Jerry West, and is now tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The two trail Michael Jordan (109) and Kobe Bryant (88).

• James now has 4,782 career playoff points, and he passed Karl Malone (4,761) for sixth on the all-time playoff scoring list.

Career night for James

After being held to the worst shooting quarter of his career in the first quarter (0-of-9 from the field), James took over the game. He scored or assisted on 68 of the Cavaliers’ 114 total points (60 percent). In the third quarter he scored or assisted on 29 of their 33 total points, including the final 27 points of the period.

James recorded a number of career highs. His 37 field goal attempts, 25 field goal attempts in the paint, and eight offensive rebounds were all the most in his career, regular or postseason.

Depleted Hawks put up a fight

Though James dominated much of the game, the Hawks were able to stay with the Cavaliers and take the game to overtime, even after Al Horford was ejected in the second quarter. At the time, Horford was the game’s leading scorer with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

The lineup of Jeff Teague, Kent Bazemore, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap and Mike Muscala, which started the second half for Atlanta, had played a total of four minutes together during the entire season.

Teague led the Hawks with 30 points, seven assists, six rebounds and no turnovers. He is the first Hawks player with 30 points, five rebounds and no turnovers on the road in the playoffs since Dominique Wilkins in 1988.

Looking ahead

No team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win (0-116), and 59 percent of best-of-seven series that reach 3-0 end in a sweep.

This is the first time under the best-of-seven format that both Conference Finals series have been 3-0, as the Warriors lead the Rockets in the Western Conference finals.