In Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, LeBron James scored the most points he's ever recorded in a Finals game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star scored 44 points, and as has been the case in the rest of this playoff run, he took complete control of the team's offense late in the game. After returning with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, James either scored or assisted on every Cavaliers field goal. Yet Cleveland still lost to the Golden State Warriors 108-100 in overtime, in large part because the team's bench was so ineffective.
In the past, a big scoring outing by James has portended Finals success. His Cavaliers and Heat teams had won his five highest-scoring Finals games, and were 5-2 (.714) when he scored 30-plus points, compared to 6-14 (.300) when he failed to reach that mark.
This time, James didn't have enough help, but don't blame his fellow starters.