Sports Reference Blog

LeBron James When Facing Elimination

Posted by Mike Lynch on June 13, 2017

A quick blog post, just to save this table as a reference and for posterity...

A couple years ago, we ran a blog post which featured a comparison of various players when facing elimination from the playoffs. At the time, LeBron James appeared to be objectively the best of the elite group we looked at. Since that time, he's played five more games facing elimination, winning four of them before losing in Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals last night. For his career, LeBron is now 11-9 when facing elimination, with averages of 33.0 PPG, 10.9 RPG and 7.4 APG on a 52.1 eFG%, with an average Game Score of 26.2. For comparison's sake, Michael Jordan's average Game Score when facing elimination was 23.3. Furthermore, LeBron's 33.0 PPG is the highest in NBA history by a player facing elimination (Jordan averaged 31.3 and Wilt Chamberlain averaged 31.1) Some point to the 2011 NBA Finals as a case of LeBron going out meekly (and they'd be right). But since then, he's faced elimination 12 times, winning nine times and putting up these insane numbers: 35.1 PPG, 11.9 RPG and 7.3 APG on a 55.7 eFG%, with an average Game Score of 30.1! Here are his lines for those 20 games, with links to each of the box scores if you'd like further details. And remember to bookmark this page the next time someone argues LeBron hasn't been a clutch performer.

Query Results Table
Date Tm Opp MP FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS GmSc
2006-05-21 CLE DET L 47 11 24 0 4 5 8 8 2 1 0 3 27 15.6
2007-06-14 CLE SAS L 46 10 30 2 7 2 6 6 10 0 0 6 24 7.8
2008-05-16 CLE BOS W 47 9 23 1 3 13 15 12 6 2 1 8 32 21.6
2008-05-18 CLE BOS L 47 14 29 3 11 14 19 5 6 2 0 2 45 32.8
2009-05-28 CLE ORL W 46 11 24 0 2 15 19 14 12 1 1 4 37 33.3
2009-05-30 CLE ORL L 45 8 20 2 8 7 11 7 7 0 1 3 25 16.1
2010-05-13 CLE BOS L 46 8 21 2 4 9 12 19 10 3 1 9 27 22.1
2011-06-12 MIA DAL L 40 9 15 2 5 1 4 4 6 1 1 6 21 13.6
2012-06-07 MIA BOS W 45 19 26 2 4 5 9 15 5 0 0 4 45 36.4
2012-06-09 MIA BOS W 48 9 21 1 5 12 17 12 2 1 1 3 31 22.4
2013-06-03 MIA IND W 41 8 17 1 2 15 16 8 4 2 1 2 32 29.2
2013-06-18 MIA SAS W 50 11 26 1 5 9 12 10 11 3 1 6 32 25.8
2013-06-20 MIA SAS W 45 12 23 5 10 8 8 12 4 2 0 2 37 32.5
2014-06-15 MIA SAS L 41 10 21 3 9 8 9 10 5 0 2 1 31 26.8
2015-06-16 CLE GSW L 47 13 33 2 10 4 8 18 9 2 0 6 32 20.2
2016-06-13 CLE GSW W 43 16 30 4 8 5 8 16 7 3 3 2 41 39.2
2016-06-16 CLE GSW W 43 16 27 3 6 6 8 8 11 4 3 1 41 42.5
2016-06-19 CLE GSW W 47 9 24 1 5 8 10 11 11 2 3 5 27 23.1
2017-06-09 CLE GSW W 41 11 22 3 8 6 10 10 11 1 0 2 31 27.7
2017-06-12 CLE GSW L 46 19 30 2 5 1 4 13 8 2 1 3 41 35.2
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/13/2017.

One Response to “LeBron James When Facing Elimination”

  1. daved Says:

    What major player has played the most playoff games (in any sport) without ever having an elimination game? It can't be a huge number of people and/or games

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