Not even crippling leg cramps could stop Miami Heat star LeBron James from sinking a three-pointer to put the team in the lead for good as the Heat claimed game 4 of the NBA finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
James and the Heat went on to beat the Thunder 104-98 with LeBron racking up 26 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and two steals. James helped the Heat come back from a 17-point deficit in the first quarter, and pushed through the second half until he hit the floor on a drive to the basket with 5:18 left in the game with a two-point lead.
The 250-pound forward hobbled off the court aided by an army of trainers armed with Gatorade and ready to give massages. With LeBron out, Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant took action, scoring four points for the Thunder before LeBron returned.
LeBron left the game with less than a minute left, clinching the win with help from Dwayne Wade, Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh. The Heat now lead the series 3-1 in a time when no other team has ever given up such an advantage.
Despite LeBron’s “cramp game,” as it is widely becoming known, James still pulled off one heck of a run, bringing himself one basket closer toward his first championship ring and the Larry O’Brien trophy.
LeBron fell just one rebound short of joining the ranks of Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird as the only players in NBA history to record more than one triple-double – obtaining double digit stats in three of the five categories of the game – in the NBA finals over the course of their careers.
If the Heat want to clench the national title, they had better hope LeBron chugs some Gatorade before Thursday’s game.