CLEVELAND – LeBron James passed Michael Jordan as the No. 1 all-time playoff scorer last month and tonite he eclipsed Jordan for third place on the all-time NBA Finals scoring list.
James passed Jordan (1,176 points) with his first bucket in Game 4 on Friday night against the Golden State Warriors, an and-1 layup with 9:56 left in the first quarter. James set the mark in his 44th career Finals game; Jordan played 35.
Cavs smashed the Finals points mark for a quarter and first half with 49 and 86, respectively, on their way to scorching the Warriors 137-116 to stave off elimination in the best of seven series which shifts to Oakland on Monday.
James detailed his reverence for Jordan when he passed him in playoff scoring in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.
"I wear the number because of Mike," James said of the No. 23 on his uniform. "I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just because of what he was able to accomplish. When you're watching Michael Jordan it's almost like a god. So I didn't think I could be Mike."
The only players remaining with more Finals points than James are Jerry West (1,679 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,317 points).
Later in the opening quarter, James broke Jordan's record for most career free throws made in the playoffs, passing the Hall of Famer's mark of 1,463.
He also passed legend Magic Johnson for Finals triple-doubles with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assist and is averaging a triple-double for the Finals, 9 to Magic's 8.
Side kick Kyrie Irving was spectacular again, following his 37 point outburst on Wednesday with a game high 40 and Kevin Love was solid with 23 points and the defending champions will now see if they have an even bigger miracle in them. The Warriors lead the series 3-1.