He did it.
LeBron James didn’t score the winning basket, but he did everything in his power to propel the Cleveland Cavaliers to one of the best comebacks in sports history and an NBA title after trailing 3-1 in the Finals to a Golden State Warriors team that finished with the best regular-season record in league history. The Cavaliers are the first team in NBA history to overcome that deficit in the Finals.
How did he do it? In simplest terms, James did it all.
He led all players on both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots. Elias Sports Bureau research shows that it’s the first time any player has led both teams in all those categories in any playoff series of any length.
James scored 109 points in Games 5, 6 and 7, which Elias notes is the most by a player who was on a team that completed a comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
James finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in Game 7. Elias research shows that he’s the third player to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The others were Jerry West in a losing effort for the 1969 Lakers against the Celtics and James Worthy in the 1988 Lakers’ win over the Pistons.
James scored or assisted on 50 percent of the Cavaliers' points in the Finals, his second-highest mark in a Finals, surpassed only by his 62 percent last season (when he was playing without Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love).
In Game 7, James scored or assisted on 52 of the Cavaliers 93 points, including 13 of 18 in the fourth quarter. In the first four games of the series, James scored or assisted on 45 percent of the Cavaliers' points. He was responsible for 57 percent in the last three games, all wins.
This postseason, James attempted 59 percent of his shots in the paint, his highest percentage in a single postseason. In the NBA Finals, James slightly upped the ante and attempted 60 percent of his shots in the paint. He made seven of nine shots in the paint in Game 7.
In the 2015 NBA Finals, Andre Iguodala won the MVP award, in part due to his defense against James. Iguodala limited James to 35 percent shooting in the series. In this Finals, James shot 54 percent against Iguodala.
James also got it done on defense. James held the Warriors to 36 percent shooting in the NBA Finals (21-of-58), best of any player on the Cavaliers. Stephen Curry was 1-of-7 against him. Klay Thompson was 2-of-6. The Warriors did not make any of their seven shots against James in Game 6.
James blocked seven shots in transition, including one on Andre Iguodala with 1:50 remaining in the fourth quarter of a tied Game 7 (which you can see atop this article). James was also the primary defender for 14 turnovers, tied for most of any player in the series.
This is James’ third NBA title. James, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players to win three titles and four MVPs.