LeBron has been a part of the best and worst moments in NBA Finals history. What will happen in 2018?
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
JR Smith dribbles out the clock...in a tie game
Despite entering the 2018 NBA Finals as one of the biggest underdogs in history, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers actually found themselves in a position to steal Game 1 on the road against the Golden State Warriors.
With the score tied 107-107 with just a little over 4 seconds left in the game, Cavs guard George Hill was at the free thrown line with a chance to give Cleveland the lead.
The free throw was missed. Luckily, Cavs guard JR Smith got the rebound a foot from the basket.
But...instead of shooting for the win, Smith dribbled the ball out to mid-court as his teammates screamed at him. The game would go to overtime...the Warriors would win by 10.
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron can't handle the Heat | 2014
After the air conditioning in San Antonio went out in Game 1 in 2014, LeBron couldn't handle the Heat in the building, having to be carried off the court with cramps. The NBA Finals rematch also was completely one-sided with the Spurs dominating Miami in five games.
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Heat fans leave too early | 2013
The San Antonio Spurs looked to have the 2013 NBA title sealed with a five-point lead and 23 seconds remaining in Game 6. Some of the Miami Heat fans didn't want to watch the Spurs celebrate on their home court, so they headed to the exits. But LeBron James and Ray Allen didn't let the Heat go away as they forced overtime and won to force Game 7. The fans who bailed before the buzzer couldn't get back in the arena and were forced to watch the celebration from the outside.
Biggest blowout in Finals history | 1998
There are some thrilling moments between the Bulls and Jazz, but Game 3 of the 1998 NBA Finals was entirely one-sided. Utah was dominated in every way by Chicago in a 96-54 loss. The 42-point blowout is the largest in Finals history and the Jazz set the record low for points scored.
NBAE/Getty ImagesNathaniel S. Butler
Starks goes ice cold | 1994
John Starks couldn't have picked a worse time to have a miserable night for the New York Knicks. After his potential game-winning shot was blocked in Game 6 of the 1994 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets, he went 2-for-18, including 0-for-10 in the fourth quarter, and missed all 11 of his 3-point attempts in Game 7. His horrendous shooting proved costly in the Knicks' 90-84 series-ending loss.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
Mavs let chance at 3-0 series lead slip away | 2006
With the Dallas Mavericks holding a 2-0 series lead and up by 13 with six minutes remaining in Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals, it appeared there would be no question which team would be crowned champions. But Dwyane Wade and the Heat came back from the fourth-quarter deficit, and the Mavs' late-game mistakes in the series cost them the title as they went on to lose in six games.
AFP/Getty ImagesROBERT SULLIVAN
Anderson couldn't make one free throw | 1995
Nick Anderson had a chance to seal a victory for the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets. Leading by 3 with under 10 seconds remaining in regulation, Anderson missed four straight free throws that left the door open for Houston. The Rockets were able to force overtime, win the game and sweep the series.
NBAE/Getty ImagesFernando Medina
Heat start celebration too soon | 2011
LeBron and Dwyane Wade were rolling in Game 2 and ready to take a 2-0 series lead against the Mavs. Wade and his teammates were even taunting the Dallas bench with a 15-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. But the Mavs came storming back to steal Game 2 in South Beach, and went on to win three of the next four games to deny the Heat the title.
NBAE/Getty ImagesGarrett Ellwood
Record Warriors blow 3-1 Finals lead | 2016
Nobody could beat the Warriors in 2015-16. They broke the 1995-96 Bulls regular season record with a 73-9 finish. It seemed like a done deal with Golden State took a 3-1 series lead against LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Finals. But the Warriors went on to lose the title, which included a shocking Game 7 loss at home.