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LeBron James gets another triple-double, now favorite for Finals MVP

Jun 19, 2013, 4:35 AM EDT

You’ll have to excuses ESPN for not mentioning LeBron James achieving a triple-double during the Heat’s 103-100 win over the Spurs until Game 6 ended.

LeBron grabbed his 10th rebound – capping a 32-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound, three-steal game – on Chris Bosh’s block of Tony Parker’s jumper with 31 seconds left, setting off a whirlwind finish that included Dwyane Wade missing a jumper, Manu Ginobili turning the ball over, Ray Allen making a pair of free throws and Chris Bosh blocking Danny Green’s 3-pointer at the buzzer. LeBron’s triple-double was, deservedly, an afterthought in one of the greatest Finals games in recent years.

But taking a step back, LeBron has made his mark in historic terms with his all-around games.

How many triple-doubles in the NBA Finals?

  • LeBron: Four
  • Every other active player combined: Three

How many triple-doubles in the 2013 playoffs?

  • LeBron: Three
  • Every other player combined: Two

LeBron has clearly outshined his peers in this area, but he’s still a step behind a predecessor, though only one predecessor, when it comes to all-time rank in Finals triple-doubles:

1. Magic Johnson, 8

2. LeBron James, 4

3. Walt Frazier, 2

3. Bob Cousy, 2

3. Bill Russell, 2

3. Larry Bird, 2

3. Wilt Chamberlain, 2

LeBron’s two triple-doubles in a single Finals series are the most since Magic also had two in 1991.

When it comes to playoff triple-doubles, LeBron now also trails only Magic:

1. Magic Johnson, 30

2. LeBron James, 11

2. Jason Kidd, 11

4. Rajon Rondo, 10

4. Larry Bird, 10

Of course, these historic rankings won’t – or at least shouldn’t – determine whether LeBron is recognized as having the best individual Finals in 2013. But obviously, a couple triple-doubles put him in great shape. LeBron leads these Finals in points, assists and steals and ranks seconds in rebounds (to Tim Duncan).

If the Heat win Game 7 on Thursday, which seems more likely than not, LeBron is in great shape to land his second Finals MVP whether or not he gets yet another third triple-double.

  1. spree8 - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    you guys should just stop declaring mvp’s and keep posting good articles about the games itself. just enjoy the ride!

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      LeBron will be judged by rings not triple doubles.
      He knows this, his legacy depends on his bling not stats.

  2. mungman69 - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Game 7 coming up. Hold on to your hats.
    Hey Heat fans?

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    This knee-jerk article in which PBT prematurely declares something that is a 180 degree different declaration from the one they made less than 24 hours ago seems like the perfect time to make this announcement.

    I’m retiring from PBT effective immediately. It’s been fun. But now I’m done. I’m doing it before game 7 because I want to be clear that the outcome of the series has no bearing on my decision. I’ve been posting just about everyday for 3 years. There’s no more arguments to be made. Huge fan before 2010. Was at Miami Arena for first home win vs Utah in 88. Was tin the upper deck for first home playoff game vs Chicago in 92. Did shots with Bimbo Coles, Keith Askins, and Brian Shaw at Dan Marinos in CocoWalk circa 91.

    And now, this Heat experience since 2010 has been unlike anything anyone in any fan base will ever experience. It’s been an incredible success, and it’ll be so win or lose Thursday night. There’s nothing more to say. And I’m no longer interested in reading the perceptions of people who don’t know better. I hope all the people who have spent so much of their lives just hoping the Heat lose realize what a colossal waste of their energy these past 3 years have been. I feel bad for you.

    It was fun. But I’m done. See you Around the Bend. And Let’s Go Heat! Let’s Go Heat!

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      I think you’re lying.

  4. hehateme2 - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    No surprise that cantonclown is MIA. Like a roach that hides under the fridge when the light goes on.

    • jimeejohnson - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Why insult roaches?

  5. pensman29 - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    I didn’t ven know the finals are still going on. What a terrible sport.

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      And you decided to come on to proBASKETBALLtalk to complain? why bother?

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      I see the Penguins fans are starting to emerge from their hole after being SWEPT.

  6. reedme16 - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Lebron accumulates stats so easily, but at times it doesn’t really show how he played. In game 1 he had a triple double and played awesome, but only scored 18 so he got killed because they lost! Last game he scored 30 and had a triple double but played horrible in the clutch, But the Heat won. Lebron should have been praised after game 1, not last night. As good as he played he nearly have away the championship at home!

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      nah, I think he redeemed himself nicely, we dont win last night if James didnt do what he did in the fourth, yes he made it close with a few mistakes, but again, he redeemed himself

  7. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Honestly was a bad game overall from LeBron if you watched it. Besides that one 3 which came after he bricked one, the only points he seemed to score were coming off drives. He uses his body to be good, not too much talent. Good game, but he shot horrible and I wouldn’t praise it too much.

    • cullenand99 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      So…it’s only amazing when he shoots jump shots? Does it really matter where he score? Fact is, LeBron himself scored 18 points in the 4th quarter/overtime while the entire San Antonio Spurs team scored 25.

  8. jbeagles23 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Lol he uses he body to be good. Not too much talent. Can tell you don’t wath too much ball

    • packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      He had a great fourth quarter. But in no way was that one of the greatest finals games in the past several years as the article proclaims. The dude can’t shoot. If Bosh doesn’t grab that board and kick it out to Ray Allen, no one is talking about the “great” game LeBron had. Why is that the determining factor? It shouldn’t be. The talent that he dominates the game should be that factor, but he just doesn’t have it. Look right over to Dirk if you want to see greatness. He’s not just good cause he’s the biggest, fastest and strongest guy on the court. What bugs me is the fact that Tim Duncan dropping 25 in the first half is just completely left out and people are awestruck cause of a few dunks.

      • brutl - Jun 19, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        Dirk is a great shooter, no doubt, but is nowhere near the complete player Lebron is. The guy has 2 career triple doubles, Lebron has 2 in this series alone!
        Lebron can’t shoot? Lebron shot over 50% from the field and over 40% from 3 this season. His jumpshot isn’t falling right now, but he’s still carrying a huge load for the Heat.

  9. jbeagles23 - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Hey brutl stop bringing logic into this situation. The guys says lebron isn’t great then says look at dirk. Dirk can’t carry a team. He and the whole mavs team had a great series in 2011. He couldn’t have willed his team back against the spurs like lebron did.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Dirk can’t will a team back? In the 2011 Finals, the Mavericks trailed the series two times. 1-0 and 2-1. They won the championship on the road in a hostile environment. In Game 4, with the Mavericks down 2-1 in the series and 74-65 in the game, they came back to win the game and tie the series up. In Game 5, losing 100-97, Dirk made a beautiful pass to Jason Terry to tie up the game, then on the next play dunked over Chris Bosh to give the Mavs the lead for good.

      I’m not saying this to argue that Dirk is better than LeBron, but saying that Dirk can’t will his team back is an absurd statement.

  10. itsonlyaspeedbump - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Anyone else surprised Oscar Robertson isnt on these lists?

  11. jimeejohnson - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    The reason some people think LeBron sucks is because they had successful lobotomies.

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