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LeBron's 40-point game least efficient since MJ

LeBron James’ 44 points in Game 1 of the Finals mark the 68th time in his career he’s scored 40 in a game (55 regular season, 13 playoff). But he scored that many points with less than his usual scoring efficiency, going 18-for-38 from the field and 6-for-10 from the free throw line.

One way to measure overall scoring efficiency is to use true shooting percentage, which is like field goal percentage but takes into account field goals, 3-pointers and free throws to give an overall measure of how efficiently a player got his points. LeBron's true shooting percentage for Game 1 was 51.9 percent, which is:

  • The lowest by any player in a 40-point game this season (there have been 57 40-point games in the regular season and playoffs). The average true shooting percentage for a player who scored 40 points in a game this season is 70 percent.

  • The second-lowest by LeBron in any of his 68 career 40-point games. His average true shooting percentage across his 40-point games is 69 percent, so this was well below his own average scoring efficiency in such games.

  • The third-lowest by any player in a 40-point playoff game over the last 30 postseasons (there have been 220 such games). The average true shooting percentage across these games is about 67 percent, and James now has two of the six lowest marks (both with the Cavs, and both in losses).

The last player with a lower true shooting percentage in a 40-point playoff game was Michael Jordan, who scored 44 points on 48 percent true shooting (19-for-43 on field goals, 3-for-6 on free throws) in a triple-overtime loss to the Suns in Game 3 of the 1993 NBA Finals.