Playoffs 2018 East First Round: Cavaliers (4) vs. Pacers (5)

History on side of LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers as Game 6 nears

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on ESPN: Cavs vs. Pacers (8 ET)

Ever since he made the playoffs for the first time in 2006, LeBron James has never known the taste of a first-round exit. In the course of his many playoff runs, James has faced the Indiana Pacers more than a few times. And over the last seven postseasons, his teams have run into (and eliminated) the Indiana Pacers five times.

That puts more than enough history on James’ side entering tonight’s potential close-out game for the Cavs. But there’s more for LeBron and Co. — namely that James is 32-9 all time in games where his team can clinch a series and they have won 11 straight games in those scenarios, too.

Here’s more from’s Joe Vardon on the epic run and history on the Cavs’ side entering tonight:

… The Cavs (albeit, all their playoff games during this stretch are with James) have won an NBA-record 13 consecutive closeout games, dating to 2009.

In James’ 41 closeout games, James is averaging 27.7 points, 8.9 boards, 6.8 assists and is shooting .463 from the field. The shooting percentage might show his high minutes and usage rate throughout the series, and he’s simply tired by the time he gets to the end.

James is already averaging 42.7 minutes and 34.8 points in this series.

“The series ain’t over,” Pacers star Victor Oladipo said. “You got to win four games for the series to be over, right? So we got a chance to win on Friday. I don’t think anybody is discouraged or upset. Obviously, it sucks, we want to win.

“It sucks, it definitely sucks but we play on Friday and it’s a big game because it’s the next game and we give ourselves the chance to come back here and play for a Game 7.”

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