LeBron James gets another triple-double, now favorite for Finals MVP

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You’ll have to excuses ESPN for not mentioning LeBron James achieving a triple-double during the Heat’s 103-100 win over the Spurs until Game 6 ended.

LeBron grabbed his 10th rebound – capping a 32-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound, three-steal game – on Chris Bosh’s block of Tony Parker’s jumper with 31 seconds left, setting off a whirlwind finish that included Dwyane Wade missing a jumper, Manu Ginobili turning the ball over, Ray Allen making a pair of free throws and Chris Bosh blocking Danny Green’s 3-pointer at the buzzer. LeBron’s triple-double was, deservedly, an afterthought in one of the greatest Finals games in recent years.

But taking a step back, LeBron has made his mark in historic terms with his all-around games.

How many triple-doubles in the NBA Finals?

  • LeBron: Four
  • Every other active player combined: Three

How many triple-doubles in the 2013 playoffs?

  • LeBron: Three
  • Every other player combined: Two

LeBron has clearly outshined his peers in this area, but he’s still a step behind a predecessor, though only one predecessor, when it comes to all-time rank in Finals triple-doubles:

1. Magic Johnson, 8

2. LeBron James, 4

3. Walt Frazier, 2

3. Bob Cousy, 2

3. Bill Russell, 2

3. Larry Bird, 2

3. Wilt Chamberlain, 2

LeBron’s two triple-doubles in a single Finals series are the most since Magic also had two in 1991.

When it comes to playoff triple-doubles, LeBron now also trails only Magic:

1. Magic Johnson, 30

2. LeBron James, 11

2. Jason Kidd, 11

4. Rajon Rondo, 10

4. Larry Bird, 10

Of course, these historic rankings won’t – or at least shouldn’t – determine whether LeBron is recognized as having the best individual Finals in 2013. But obviously, a couple triple-doubles put him in great shape. LeBron leads these Finals in points, assists and steals and ranks seconds in rebounds (to Tim Duncan).

If the Heat win Game 7 on Thursday, which seems more likely than not, LeBron is in great shape to land his second Finals MVP whether or not he gets yet another third triple-double.