It took him almost three years (and nine failed tries), but LeBron James has finally flashed some clutch prowess in South Beach. With their 15-game winning streak in danger of ending at the hands of the lowly Orlando Magic, down 96-95 James hit a layup with 3.2 seconds left, putting the Heat up for good, 97-96.
It was pretty well known that since joining the Miami Heat, James had yet to do anything truly “clutch”, despite leading the team to two Finals appearances and a championship in two years. He had taken nine would-be go-ahead shots in the last 10 seconds of regulation or overtime, including the postseason, since the start of the 2010-11 season, but it was his 10th that finally stuck. James finished the game with 26 points, and his Heat’s winning streak was extended to 16 games.
Was this the last monkey LeBron James had to get off his back? I know this game was relatively inconsequential, but will the fact that he hit the coveted game-winning shot at all propel him to be able to pull it off flawlessly in the future, especially in postseason contests? All it takes is one poke or prod to wake the beast, so you never know. Video of the layup below:
[stats via ESPN, Getty Images]