Most of us enjoyed watching The Last Dance, which recounted the great Chicago Bulls teams of the 90s. The show went extensively into Michael Jordan’s struggle to get past the Detroit Pistons to win a championship.
While it’s not a perfect comparison, there are a lot of similarities to LeBron James and his struggle to get past the Boston Celtics.
One of their more epic battles of the 2000s came during Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals. James and Celtics star Paul Pierce traded punches for almost the full 48 minutes.
The King tallied 45 points, six assists and five rebounds in 47.
But in the end, the Truth prevailed, as Pierce notched 41 points, five assists and four boards in Boston’s 97-92 series-clinching win.
There are 21 occurrences of a player scoring 40 points in a Game 7, according to Basketball Reference’s Game Finder. But this contest marked just the second time opponents both dropped a 40 burger. (The first was Sam Jones of the Celtics and Oscar Robertson of the Cincinnati Royals.)
On another note, James went for 45 against the Pacers in Game 7 during the opening round of the 2018 playoffs, making him the only player in history to score 40 points in a Game 7 twice.
Kelly is a TBW co-Founder and frequent contributor. He spent 4.5 years in the USAF before attending University of Minnesota, Bible college in Anaheim and 15 years in youth ministry. Basketball blogger-turned-NBA Featured Columnist with Bleacher Report, BBallBreakdown, Fansided, The Step Back, Hoops Habit, SportsNet, Vantage Sports, Dime and FanRag, among others, his work has been read over 25 million times. The former NBA Assistant Editor at FanRag (2016-18), he is an NBA Twitter staple who is well-connected and respected among today’s finest basketball writers.