All it took was one five-minute burst — capping a fourth-quarter run that was reminiscent of his breakout postseason performance in Detroit two years ago — and LeBron James reminded everyone why he shouldn’t be counted out just yet. With six minutes left in last night’s conference finals Game 5, the Cavs were down by one and Orlando was being successfully carried by Dwight Howard and LBJ’s new nemesis, Mickael Pietrus. And then LeBron went to work: layup plus-one, jumper, assist to Boobie Gibson for a three, another jumper, another layup plus-one (fouling Dwight out), another jumper, then an assist to Anderson Varejao for a plus-one layup. With one minute showing on the clock, the Cavs were up by 10 and on their way to Game 6 in Orlando … LeBron (37 pts, 14 rebs, 12 asts) scored or assisted on 29 straight Cavs’ points in the fourth quarter. Dime’s Austin Burton wrote before the game that ‘Bron has carried enough of the load and that it was time for his teammates to step up, and they finally came through on Thursday. Mo Williams scored 24 on 6-for-9 shooting beyond the arc, Gibson went 3-for-4 from three, Delonte West went for 13 points, and Big Z had 16 points. LeBron was as diplomatic as possible in his post-game press conference, but made his point clear enough: If you guys just make some shots, we’ll be fine because I can beat anybody in single coverage. Without those extra defenders coming over to help, LBJ was a beast getting to the rack (15-19 FT), and mixed it up with some jumpers as well … The Cavs came out like a team playing to survive, leading by as much as 22 in the first quarter. But Dwight (24 pts, 10 rebs), Hedo (29 pts) and Rashard (15 pts) dominated the second quarter and cut the deficit to just one at halftime, and the teams traded the lead until ‘Bron took over in the fourth … Now the pressure is just as heavy on the Magic as it is on the Cavs. How is that, exactly, when Orlando has the 3-2 series lead? Because they know good and hell well they’re not getting ANY calls come Game 6, meaning they’ll need a near-flawless effort. And going into a Game 7 on the road when you’ve already lost two in a row and the best player on either team plays for the other side, well, that’s no position you want to be in … Thursday’s obligatory almost-fight would have been a gross no-contest: Dwight Howard versus Wally Szczerbiak. Those two got tangled up going for a rebound in the first half, and after the whistle, Wally shoved Dwight in the back and got a tech. Remember when Homer Simpson fought Drederick Tatum? Imagine that, only Homer had Wally’s movie-star hair … Things we learned last night from “NBA Gametime”: Anderson Varejao flopping is so amazing, too … Things we’re still trying to figure out from “NBA Gametime”: What exactly is The Slim Shady LeBron Show? Give Mr. Andre Aldridge credit for that gem … We might have to shoot Ben Roethlisberger straight to the top of the list of active athletes who will undoubtedly gain a quick 150 extra pounds as soon as they retire. The other Big Ben was in the Cleveland crowd for Game 5, and we thought it was The Big Show on first glance … Dime reader JC from SoCal sent us this yesterday: “Please tell me y’all have seen this new beverage craze going around. It’s called the LeBron Bomb (commonly called the “LeBomb James”). It works like this: Order a shot of Crown Royal (for King James), drop it into a glass of Sprite like a Jager Bomb (because of his Sprite endorsement deal), and have sugar in your hand ready; approximately 3 packets of Splenda works great. (The sugar represents his pre-game chalk.) Then take the shot and throw the sugar in the air just like LeBron does before tip-off.” We would show you the video JC sent of he and his boys doing LeBron Bombs, but there was a little too much male shirtlessness involved. But if any of you goes out and does a LeBomb James this weekend, please send us your pics/videos to firstname.lastname@example.org … We’re out like amazing flops …
Smack / May 29, 2009 / 4:56 am
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