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Lebron James Overtakes Kobe Bryant in Playoff Scoring List

AFP

Updated: April 21, 2017, 12:55 PM IST
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Lebron James Overtakes Kobe Bryant in Playoff Scoring List
Lebron James in action against Indiana Pacers (Getty Images)

Los Angeles: Lost in the excitement surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers stunning 26-point rally to beat the Indian Pacers Thursday was LeBron James moving into third place on the NBA's all-time playoff scoring list.

James nailed a three-point shot in the first half to give him 13 for the game and 5,641 for his playoff career, passing Kobe Bryant for the third spot in postseason scoring.

Only Michael Jordan, with 5,987 points, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 5,762, have more playoff points than James. Bryant needed 220 games to reach his total, while James did it in just 202 career playoff games.

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James finished with 41 points to help the reigning NBA champion Cavaliers come back from a 26-point deficit to stun Indiana 119-114 in game three of their first round series.

The Cavaliers were down by 25 points at halftime and as much as 26 at one point in the contest. They are the first playoff team in history to erase a 25-point halftime deficit and win.

James passed Kobe Bryant for number three on the league's career playoff scoring list and tied another NBA record by winning his 20th consecutive first-round game.

James delivered 28 second-half points as he took over the contest in the fourth quarter in front of a crowd of 18,100 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena.

"They came out and jumped on us in the first half, but when we came into the locker room at halftime, I told the guys, 'Let's just get a couple of stops and see what happens,'" James said.

"Then we took the ball right at them and got back in the game. We got some great play from our guys off the bench."

The 26-point comeback ties for the third largest in league playoff history and is the largest since 2012, when the Los Angeles Clippers came back from a 27-point deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Cavaliers scored 70 points to just 40 for the Pacers in the second half. Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving and Channing Frye each scored 13 points for Cleveland while Kyle Korver added 12.

Pacers forward Paul George scored 36 points, including 21 alone in the second quarter. But George couldn't keep pace with James and Cavaliers over the last two quarters.

Jeff Teague added 15 for Indiana, and Lance Stephenson scored 13 for the Pacers. George also finished with 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Indiana led by 10 after one quarter. They built a 50-36 lead with just under six minutes left in the second quarter and went on to lead 74-49 at the half.

The 74 first-half points are the Pacers's most this season, surpassing the 68 they scored in the first half on April 8 at Orlando.

Indiana shot 56.8 percent in the first half and the Pacers's non-starters outscored the Cavaliers's reserves 28-8.

This is only the second time in Pacers' franchise history that Indiana has trailed a playoff series 3-0 and George said it is in part because of poor communication.

"We came out in the second half with a 25-point lead and had a chance to put our foot on their throat," said George. "Instead, we came out relaxed and just allowed them to step into wide-open three-pointers.

"We played a great first half, but then they really got aggressive in the second half. We have to do a better job communicating."

First Published: April 21, 2017, 12:55 PM IST
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