Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has turned up the heat on the red-hot debate about who really is the NBA’s greatest-of-all-time (GOAT) player.
Thursday night, James passed former Chicago Bulls star and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan for the top spot on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list.
The Cavaliers star hit a 3-pointer with 2:40 left in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics that gave him 29 points in the game and 5,989 points in his postseason career.
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Jordan scored 5,987 in the postseason in 179 games with the Bulls from 1985-1998.
James entered the game 27 points behind Jordan. He finished with 35 points, bringing his post-season total to 5,995 in 212 postseason games.
Though Jordan hit his postseason mark in fewer games, James needed fewer shots (4,377 to 4,497) to pass him.
The Cavaliers crushed the Celtics 135-102 Thursday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals to clinch the defending NBA champions’ third straight NBA Finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors and former Davidson star Stephen Curry.
James will be making his seventh straight trip to the NBA Finals. He’s won two titles with the Miami Heat and one with the Cavs.
Thursday morning, James told the Associated Press that chasing Jordan’s records and accomplishments is personal motivation, not about wanting to establish himself as the NBA’s greatest player.
“You guys are gonna have the conversations about who’s the greatest of all time and things of that nature, it doesn’t matter to me,” James said.
Jordan, the former North Carolina Tar Heels star, led Chicago to six NBA titles. He also played two seasons at Washington from 2001-03, but the Wizards failed to make the playoffs either season.
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