LeBron James 24 Pts Full Game Highlights – Game 1 May 17, 2016

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HIGHLIGHTS & REPLAY CLICK HERE ____________________________________

LeBron James 24 Pts Full Game Highlights – Raptors vs Cavaliers Game 1 May 17, 2016 NBA Playoffs.

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LeBron James destroyed DeMarre Carroll in Game 1: Joe Vardon’s instant analysis.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The numbers really do say LeBron James struggles against DeMarre Carroll, at least when Carroll is reasonably healthy and the game is played during the regular season.

Son, this is the playoffs. And James showed Carroll’s in real danger.

James destroyed Carroll and the Cavaliers routed the Toronto Raptors 115-84 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. James made his first nine shots, most with Carroll trying to guard him, and finished with 24 points, six rebounds, and four assists on 11-of-13 shooting.

It was James’ 19th consecutive playoff game with at least 20 points. The only thing that kept him from 30 was the scoreboard – Cleveland was too far ahead for him to play in the fourth quarter.

Which, given everything, was just the same for Carroll. He’d seen enough of James.

It wasn’t just that the ball was going from James’ hand through the hoop. It’s that James was consistently, at will, without resistance going past his man to the rim for baseline dunks or layups, which accounted for all of his field goals. James’ windmill slam on Carroll at 7:40 of the second quarter was particularly brutal.

Carroll had in-season knee surgery and hurt his wrist during the Eastern semifinals. He certainly looked a step slow.

HIGHLIGHTS & REPLAY CLICK HERE ____________________________________

In fact, the Carroll who was guarding James looked like the one who played for the Hawks in the East finals last year against Cleveland, the one who watched James averaged 30.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 9.3 assists in a four-game sweep.

See, that Carroll buckled a knee in Game 1 and hobbled around trying to chase James the rest of the series. Perhaps the excuse this time is Carroll came off a grueling, seven-game series against the Heat, while James and the Cavs hadn’t played for nine days.

Or, maybe James is just still “one of the best players in the league, besides Steph Curry,” as Toronto’s Kyle Lowry suggested Sunday.

James finished the first half with 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting. According to ESPN, it was the first time in James’ career that he made all of his shots in either half of a playoff game.

Each of those shots were either layups or dunks (the slams were of the rim-rattling variety, including one off a lob from Matthew Dellavedova at 8:51 of the second quarter). ESPN calculated his average shot distance from the basket at 1.3 feet.

James led the Cavs’ version of the Death Squad – him plus reserves Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, and Richard Jefferson – on a tear to start the second quarter that essentially ended the game.

They didn’t give up a basket until 6:28 of the quarter. When Cavs coach Tyronn Lue finally went back to his starters, with 6:07 remaining, the Cavs had extended a 33-28 lead at the end of the opening period to 50-32.

James’ first miss of the game was at 8:05 of the third – a contested, but point-blank shot he corralled for a rebound and a putback. He scored 10 in the quarter before exiting for good with 3:51 left.

If you’re wondering, James scored 19 points on just 5-of-15 shooting against Carroll back on Nov. 25, and during the 2014-15 regular season James averaged averaged 14 points on 41.7 percent shooting with 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 turnovers with Carroll on the court.

James has now gone a career-long nine playoff games without scoring at least 30. Kyrie Irving, who leads the Cavs in scoring for the postseason, again paced Cleveland with 27 points.

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