By the numbers: LeBron James tallies triple-double in Game 1 of Finals
MIAMI — LeBron James has been so good and so productive for so long that extraordinary expectations are a fact of life. Sometimes, an annoying fact.
After tallying 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in Miami’s 92-88 Game 1 loss to San Antonio on Thursday, James was met with a question about his lack of offensive efficiency. After all, he needed 16 shots to get his 18 points, missed four of his five three-point attempts and got to the free throw line just four times. Who has time to acknowledge the triple-double when James had just scored his fewest points in a game since March 12 and had his worst shooting night since Game 5 against the Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals?
James looked a touch peeved as he shrugged off the question and pointed to the entirety of his output.
“I missed some shots, I missed some really good looks,” he said. “As far as being efficient, I’m not worried about that. I also had 18 points and 10 assists as well. So, you know, I’m not too much worried about what I do as far as scoring.”
Of course, the two days since Game 1 have been full of questions about whether James needed to be more aggressive, especially down the stretch, as the Spurs handily won the fourth quarter 23-16 to steal homecourt advantage. That sentiment has been brewing over the last few weeks, fueled by inconsistent play from Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
“I should have done more, right?” James asked rhetorically on Saturday. “I can’t get involved in that honestly, because I’ve ‘done more’ and lost before.”
He then pointed to his absurd performance in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals for the Cavaliers against the Magic — when he averaged 38.5 points, 8.3 rebonds and 8.0 assists — as evidence that his assertiveness and productivity can’t decide every series.
“I can’t really get involved or care, I don’t really read too much,” James continued. “I know what I say to you guys and I know the questions you guys ask me, but I don’t really read too much of what people say. I do what’s best for the team. What’s best for the team, it doesn’t always result in a win. I wish we could go 16-0 in the playoffs, that would be awesome.”
James’ Game 1 performance deserves a few moments of appreciation before Game 2 on Sunday. Here’s a look at the numbers surrounding the performance.
- Game 1 marked the 46th triple-double of James’ career, the 10th triple-double of his postseason career, and the third triple-double of his Finals career.
- When James registers a triple-double, his teams are 34-12 overall, 7-3 in the playoffs and 1-2 in the Finals.
- Game 1 marked the first triple-double of James’ career against the Spurs. He has now registered a triple-double against 27 of the NBA’s 30 teams, including a triple-double for the Cavaliers against the Heat in 2009 and triple-doubles for the Heat against the Cavaliers in 2011 and 2013.
- The only teams he has yet to register a triple-double against: Atlanta, Minnesota and New Orleans.
- James’ averages among his 46 career triple-doubles: 28.8 points, 11.9 rebounds and 11.2 assists.
- James’ averages among his 10 postseason triple-doubles: 27.2 points, 12.8 rebounds and 11 assists.
- James’ averages among his three Finals triple-doubles: 20.3 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
- James’ biggest triple-double: 43 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds for Cleveland in a Feb. 18, 2010, loss to Denver.
- James’ biggest postseason triple-double: 37 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists for Cleveland against Orlando in Game 5 of the 2009 Eastern Conference finals against the Magic.
- Since James made his playoff debut during the 2005-06 season, NBA players have recorded a total of 30 triple-doubles in the playoffs. He has 10 of them.
- Since James joined the Heat for the 2010-11 season, NBA players have recorded a total of 14 triple-doubles in the postseason. He has four of them.
Most regular season triple-doubles in NBA history
1. Oscar Robertson (181)
2. Magic Johnson (138)
3. Jason Kidd (107)
4. Wilt Chamberlain (78)
5. Larry Bird (59)
6. Lafayette “Fat” Lever (43)
7. LeBron James (36)
Most triple-doubles in postseason history
1. Magic Johnson (30)
2. Jason Kidd (11)
t-3. LeBron James (10)
t-3. Larry Bird (10)
t-3. Rajon Rondo (10)
Most triple-doubles in Finals history
1. Magic Johnson (8)
2. LeBron James (3)