LeBron James, playing in what could be his last home game as a #Cleveland Cavalier, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round Series against the Indiana Pacers, responded with a Herculean effort of 45 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers staved off elimination to survive and advance 105-101. The Cavs, lifted by more LeBron James postseason heroics, received timely baskets from Kevin Love and George Hill, and a double-double from Tristan Thompson (15 points, 10 rebounds). Indiana came back from down as many as 15 in the first half to take a short-lived lead in the third quarter but in the end, it was James and the Cavaliers advancing, and staving off questions on where James will play next season.

Cavaliers jump out to an early lead

Despite both teams struggling early, there were a total of 4 baskets in the first 4 minutes of the game, the Cavaliers managed a double-digit lead of 12 points at the end of the first quarter and maintained a double-digit lead of 11 points at halftime. At around the halfway point of the third quarter, Indiana had taken the lead 59-58 on back to back 3 pointers by Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic. Two LeBron James free throws at the 5:29 mark of the third quarter gave Cleveland a lead they would not relinquish, finishing the third quarter clinging to a 2 point lead 76-74 and James suffering from dehydration.

Kevin Love, George Hill Respond in the 4th quarter

The start of the fourth quarter found LeBron James on the bench dealing with cramping in his lower leg, an issue he's had due to the massive amount of minutes he's accumulated. George Hill was fouled on a 3-point attempt, making all 3 foul shots at the 11:05 mark, and after trading possessions, Kevin Love, under scrutiny hit a 3 pointer on a brilliant Jeff Green Assist, a jumper on a George Hill assist, and another 3 pointers with Hill assisting, in the span of 5 possessions.

When James returned at the 8:25 mark, Cleveland had a 9 point lead and a George Hill offensive rebound and put back shot gave the Cavaliers a 12 point lead with 6:48 to play. Hill would finish with 11 points and 6 rebounds while Love would finish with 14 points and 6 rebounds.

LeBron James Almost Sets Record

James' 45 points in a Game 7 elimination game were 3 points shy of the all-time record of 48 set by Dominique Wilkins in a losing effort against the Boston Celtics in 1988.

They'll need James' traditional playoff heroics, more transcendent performances, as their next series against the Eastern Conference Champions (regular season) Toronto Raptors on Tuesday May 1st at 8PM EST. Toronto holds home court advantage in the best of 7 series with Games 1 and 2 in Toronto.