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To whom much is given, much is expected.
No one realizes it more than LeBron James, who will lead the Cleveland Cavaliers into Game 5 against the Indiana Pacers tonight at Quicken Loans Arena in a series that is tied, 2-2.
“You just go out and do what you gotta do to help your team win,” James said after shootaround today. “You gotta have your mind right, sharp, I don’t think you can never predict that the ball is going to go in or things of that nature, you always know that you’re going to be in the right spot defensively, try not to have as many turnover and just have your mind sharp.”
James who has never lost a first-round series in 12 previous trips to the playoffs, is averaging 32.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 1.0 steals an 1.0 blocks in an exhausting 43.0 minutes through the first four games.
In the two Cleveland wins in the series, he’s averaging 39 points on 63 percent shooting. In the two Indiana wins, those numbers decreased to 26 points and 43.6 percent
James realizes he is being counted on, as per usual, heavily again for tonight. In NBA history, in series that are tied 2-2 after four games, the one which wins Game 5 has won 83 percent of those series.
“I’ve been in this situation before, but this is a different situation, every situation is different,” he said. “Hopefully, I’m at my best or close to it tonight.”
James is averaging 43.0 minutes in the postseason, more than 2.5 more than anyone else across the league in the playoffs. The only other players averaging more than 40 minutes are Damian Lillard of Portland (40.5), whose Trail Blazers were swept out of the first round by the New Orleans Pelicans, and Paul George of Oklahoma City (40.2), whose Thunder are facing a 3-1 deficit going into Game 5 of that series.
James, who looked exhausted in the second half of Game 4 after scoring 23 points in the first half, scored just one point in the third quarter, though rebounded for eight in the fourth in finishing with a game-high 32.
“My legs don’t feel great, obviously, with the minutes and then the flight, but I just start getting my treatment around the clock and prepare myself,” James said. “The good thing about this one is we had two days in between, so it’s helped me out a lot.”