Cav's head coach Ty Lue likened it to a less than ideal moment in Cleveland's sporting history: Game 5 of the first round of the 1989 playoffs of the Eastern Conference: Michael Jordan on Craig Ehlo: The Shot
Le Bron James deviates from the postseason overall and recalls the last few seconds of the Cavaliers' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves last February.
Regardless of the benchmark, the result was the same: a buzzer beating, game winner – this sent the Cavaliers to a 3-2 series over the Indiana Pacers, the final results shine with a bright 98-95.
Cleveland's new version of "The Shot" sent James around the floor of the Q as if he were a 270-pound human pinball machine. From the top of the three-point line, James ran straight to his bench and stretched his arms out to his side, into the arms of rookie Cedi Osman. From there, he sprinted into the corner opposite the bench and celebrated with the fans on one side of the arena.
After being bombarded by his teammates with more celebrations, it was an adrenaline-rushed rise to the top of the scoring chart where he could get an even better look at the 41,000 airborne arms in cheers.
"I've trusted what I've always worked on," James said of his game winner. "As a kid, you always have these '3 … 2 … 1 …' moments, and being able to have one of those moments, that's how it felt, feeling like I was one Kid again, I played basketball in my house with a makeshift hoop, and my socks as basketball made the [swish] noise. "
While James and the Cavaliers were celebrating, all the pacemakers could stare into the distance, Arms in the Capitulation Cobra in desperate words sentences to themselves.
"My God," Indiana Center Myles Turner could be seen when the elation took place before him. After all, his Pacers kept the Cavs in the fourth quarter to seven minutes, where no field goal was scored. By the time the last three seconds of the music box had expired, Indiana had outperformed Cavs 22-14 in the fourth quarter and was a defensive possession of taking the overtime competition with momentum on its side.
Still, it was an inbound pass from Jeff Green, who was imprisoned by James. After two dribbles with his left hand, the four-time MVP launched a flimsy three-pointer over the outstretched arm of striker Thaddeus Young, the ball just fell through the net as the last buzzer sounded.
"[It was] as we put it on," said Cavs striker Kevin Love for the final game. "We wanted to free LeBron as much as possible and get him to read, go low or high, I saw him shoot this shot in practice, go left and get up without a fake pump He was in good shape It was unbelievable. "
Tony Dejak / Associated Press
It was James' fourth game-winning field goal of his postseason career. The first was against the Orlando Magic in 2009, a fadeaway three-pointer that knotted the series at one game apiece. Four years later, as a member of the Miami Heat, he sank a game-changing layup against the Pacers. And in his last moment of honking, James sank a corner against the Derrick Rose-led bulls to tie the Series 2-2 in 2015.
After the win on Wednesday, James became obsessed with the magic, but as the 15-year veterinarian is used to, he found some subtleties that made the shot unique in its own way.
"It did not remind many people in the locker room had it at this time," James said. "The inbound pass was on the other side of the floor, and I did not have a chance to put the ball on the floor, but it ended up pretty much in the same spot, roughly in the middle of the floor."
As with the Cavaliers this season, moments of despair preceded the highlights. As if a cold snap were not enough, Cleveland turned the ball out of time to gain a two-in-one possession in the final seconds and sucked in the wind from the home air stadium. In the subsequent game, James completely relieved after blocking a game-winning attempt by Victor Oladipo of Indiana.
Reruns later showed that the ball may have hit the second leg before being knocked out of the air by James, but officials were unable to repeat the game because there was no whistle.
James and the Cavaliers then called a break to start the final game. Coach Lue had to grab back into his pocket with after-time tricks and pulled out one that will forever be in James' career peak.
"We played our game as soon as the ball came into his hand," said Lue. "It looked perfect and on target.
"For me, I've just skipped these situations, you've been preparing for these situations for so long – you have the best player in the world on your team, and when you get the ball to him, you know that Jeff's got it and Bron his favorite place and knocked it down. "
When he left the postgame podium, Lue turned back to" The Shot, "Jordan's game-changing knight on Ehlo in Game 5 vs. The cavalier Jordan received a pass from the right side of the ground, took two left-sided dribbles in the middle of the ground, got up and sank the famous shot as the clock ran out.
"It was the same action, Lue said with a smile."
"Whatever the reason, he really likes to come back to this step," Cav's guard JR Smith said after the game. "To him in his play, to put in the playoffs and feel confident in it … it says a lot. CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 25: LeBron James # 23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates a victory after beating the Indiana Pacers in the fifth game of the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs between Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers on April 25 2018 in Qui “/>
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In Game 5, there as a buzzing local interest brewing this Thursday night could possibly be the last game of James in Cleveland as a member of the Cavaliers Threatening vacant agency and the Cavs find themselves in a tough matchup against the Pacers, Cleveland fans began to fumble as the cauldrons of yesterday blew in. A loss on Thursday would send the series back to Indiana, with both games just 48 minutes from the end of a season Instead, James treated the fans with 44 points, 10 rebounds, and an eight-assisted one by one Shot being played on a loop until these two teams meet for Game 6 (and far beyond).
"They pay their hard earned money to watch us play," James told the Postgame celebration, where he ran from corner to corner. "For me and my ball club to play a game like we did tonight, it was my way of showing appreciation."
There are many comparisons for LeBron James winners, but the heaviness of Thursday night's game 5 is likely to be worth its newest in a separate hemisphere. Instead of leaving an arena of fear and anxiety, it was James who sent Cavaliers fans home single-handed after seeing a sequence that was one of the many "I was there when …" # 39; otherworldly career should go down.