Before the 2007-08 Boston Celtics became NBA champions, they had to get past The King.
LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers battled the Celtics to seven games in the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals. That set the stage for an epic duel between James and Celtics star Paul Pierce in Game 7, which occurred exactly 12 years ago Monday on May 18, 2008.
The result was an instant classic: LeBron finished with a game-high 45 points, but Pierce went off for 41 points to help the Celtics earn a 97-92 win over the Cavs that punched their ticket to the next round.
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According to Boston Sports Info (@BostonSportsInf), that was only the second Game 7 in NBA history in which two players on opposing teams topped 40 points.
May 18, 2008
Pierce vs LeBron
Paul Pierce (41 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast) leads the Celtics to a (97-92) win over LeBron James (45 pts, 5 reb, 6 ast) in Game 7 of the EC Finals
Only the second Game 7 in NBA history that opposing players both had 40+ pointspic.twitter.com/F18ivLyQFS
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) May 18, 2020
Here are two other notable May 18 performances from the C's, who are 5-2 all-time in games played on this date:
May 18, 1986: Larry Bird hangs 30 points on the Bucks while hitting five of six 3-pointers to complete a sweep of Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals.
May 18, 1976: Future Hall of Famers JoJo White (29 points, five assists) and Dave Cowens (21 points, 18 rebounds) power the C's to an East Finals-clinching win over the Cavs.