NBA

LeBron James delivers another game-winner to crush Toronto Raptors' hopes

Jay Asser 19:09 06/05/2018
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LeBron James hit a game-winner in Game 3 to beat Toronto.

LeBron James is just messing around at this point.

The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar found a new way to deliver a dagger into the hearts of the Toronto Raptors when he hit a game-winner at the buzzer to win Game 3 of the series 105-103.

James has hit several game-winners throughout his career, but maybe none have been so disrespectfully indifferent as the one to take a 3-0 series lead on Toronto.

After calling timeout following OG Anunoby’s game-tying 3-pointer, the Cavaliers opted to inbound the ball from their own end of the floor instead of advancing it past half-court. The decision allowed James to receive the ball and streak down the court, making it more difficult for the Raptors to trap him without leaving someone on the Cavaliers wide open.

Perhaps Toronto should have taken that risk because what ended up happening was incredibly demoralising.

James not only leapt off his wrong foot (left foot) while going left, he put up a one-handed floater from nine feet out that kissed off the glass and dropped in right in front of the Raptors bench as time expired.

The audacity to attempt a shot with such a high degree of difficulty in that moment was impressive in itself, let alone that James drained it while making it look like something he does with regularity.

“It is very difficult,” James said afterward with a smile. “Don’t try it at home.”

The LeBron-Michael Jordan debate over who is the greatest of all-time may never be settled, but James continues to build his playoff resume with clutch shots.

While Jordan was 5-of-11 with three buzzer-beaters in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime in his postseason career, James is now 7-of-15 with five buzzer-beaters, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

One of those buzzer-beaters for James came earlier in these playoffs when he nailed a 3-pointer to life the Cavaliers to a Game 5 win over the Indiana Pacers in the first round.

“I’ve been doing that since I was like six, seven, eight years old,” James said after adding his latest in Game 3 versus Toronto. “Maybe even before that. There’s a picture floating around of me beside a Little Tikes hoop with a saggy Pamper on and I was doing it back then and all the way up until now, at 33.

“Things that you dream about, that you get those opportunities and I’ve been fortunate enough to get a handful of those in some of the biggest moments in my career.”

James and the Cavaliers are now one win away from returning to the Eastern Conference Finals and have the opportunity to close out the series at home in Game 4.

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