LeBron James added to his postseason lore last night in sinking a game-winning, buzzer-beating shot against the Toronto Raptors to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a 3-0 series edge. But, of course, this isn’t the first time LeBron has come through with the victorious shot in the postseason — he has five of them, to be exact.
Let’s take a look back at each of LeBron’s buzzer-beating game-winners in his career.
May 5, 2018 — Cavs vs. Raptors, Game 3
The scene: The Raptors staged a huge second-half rally, fighting from 17 down to tie the score at 103-103 with eight seconds left in regulation. But rather than put the Raptors in position to keep their season alive, it merely gave James the opportunity to author yet another legendary moment. Taking the ball full court, LeBron dribbled to the left side of the key and put up a difficult runner off glass and in to give the Cavaliers an all-but-insurmountable 3-0 lead.
April 25, 2018 — Cavs vs. Pacers, Game 5
The scene: Indiana fought back late to forge a 95-95 tie and actually had a chance to win. But James came up with a big block on Victor Oladipo’s driving layup and Cleveland gained possession of the ball with three seconds left. That set the stage for LeBron, who caught the ball, took two dribbles to his left and nailed the 3-pointer.
May 10, 2015 — Cavs vs. Bulls, Game 4
The scene: Chicago led the series 2-1 and had built an 11-point lead late in the game. But Cleveland rallied, took the lead and then saw its lead disappear with less than 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Chicago’s Derrick Rose tied the game with 8.4 seconds left on a driving layup, giving Cleveland the ball with no timeouts left. James tried to win the game on a layup from the right wing, but had his shot blocked out of bounds. Matthew Dellavedova inbounded from the baseline to James, who popped out to the left corner for a 3-pointer that gave the Cavs an 86-84 win and Game 4 of the 2015 Eastern Conference semifinals.
May 22, 2013 — Pacers vs. Heat, Game 1
The scene: A matchup between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in 2012-13 did not disappoint once they met in the Eastern Conference finals. Then-Pacers star Paul George did all he could to try and lead Indiana to a win, first by sending the game to OT with a clutch 3-pointer and then by nailing three free throws in OT to give Indiana a 102-101 lead with 2.2 seconds left. But that was more than enough time for James to save the day. He took an inbounds pass from Shane Battier, drove the lane on the left side and nailed a layup to seal a 103-102 win in Game 1.
May 22, 2009 — Magic vs. Cavs, Game 2
The scene: Although LeBron and the Cavs would ultimately fall in the 2009 Eastern Conference finals 4-2, this shot is perhaps the most memorable moment of that series. Orlando climbed from a 23-point hole to take the lead, 96-95, on Hedo Turkoglu’s 11-foot jumper with 1 second to play. That merely set things up for James’ first career playoff-game winner, though. Taking the inbounds pass from Mo Williams, James only had time to turn his shoulders toward the rim and fire. He did just that and hysteria ensued inside Quicken Loans Arena.