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June 8, 2012, 10:55 AM ET
Best High-Leverage LeBron Games

by Neil Paine

Was last night’s performance the best we’ve seen from LeBron in a high-leverage game?

Here were his best Hollinger Game Scores in games where the Championship Leverage was 2.00 or greater (meaning the game had at least twice as much impact on the outcome of the NBA championship as the average playoff game that season):

Date Opp Result Min Pts TS% Ast Reb Tov S+B GmSc Lev
5/31/2007 at DET W 50.3 48 61.3 7 9 2 2 38.1 3.14
6/7/2012 at BOS W 44.8 45 75.1 5 15 4 0 36.4 2.83
5/18/2008 at BOS L 46.8 45 60.2 6 5 2 2 32.8 2.67
5/24/2009 at ORL L 42.0 41 53.2 9 7 2 3 31.3 2.04
5/26/2009 at ORL L 49.4 44 59.6 7 12 8 2 27.9 2.16
5/24/2011 vs CHI W 49.4 35 55.2 6 6 5 4 24.8 2.10
5/29/2007 vs DET W 44.3 25 54.4 11 7 3 3 24.3 2.13
6/2/2007 vs DET W 46.2 20 51.7 8 14 3 4 22.1 3.62
6/5/2012 vs BOS L 45.3 30 52.6 2 13 3 3 21.9 2.45
5/31/2011 vs DAL W 45.3 24 71.1 5 9 1 1 21.0 3.30
5/30/2009 at ORL L 44.9 25 50.3 7 7 3 1 16.1 3.18
6/12/2007 vs SAS L 42.0 25 47.1 7 8 5 3 15.9 3.01
5/21/2006 at DET L 46.8 27 49.1 2 8 3 1 15.6 2.34
6/2/2011 vs DAL L 39.6 20 59.7 4 8 5 5 15.6 3.41
6/12/2011 vs DAL L 40.4 21 62.6 6 4 6 2 13.6 6.18
6/10/2007 at SAS L 38.0 25 48.4 6 7 6 1 13.6 4.00
6/5/2011 at DAL W 45.3 17 53.9 9 3 4 2 13.6 3.97
6/9/2011 at DAL L 45.6 17 42.8 10 10 4 1 12.4 4.94
5/24/2007 at DET L 44.7 19 43.0 7 6 6 3 11.0 2.00
6/7/2011 at DAL L 45.7 8 31.3 7 9 4 2 5.9 3.62
6/7/2007 at SAS L 44.0 14 39.4 4 7 6 2 5.0 3.87

(Leverage for 2012 is based on an estimate of the final playoff-wide average game swing, derived from the pre-Finals average.)

Not quite his greatest high-leverage outing ever (that honor still belongs to this masterpiece), but it was pretty close. We’ll see if he can do it again in Game 7, which is tracking to be the 3rd-most important game of James’ career.

Email Neil at np@sports-reference.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Neil_Paine.

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