(REUTERS) – LeBron James engineered the NBA playoffs’ biggest second-half comeback as the Cleveland Cavaliers overturned a 25-point deficit at halftime to beat the Indiana Pacers 119-114 in Game Three of their series on Thursday.
James scored 41 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and dished out 12 assists as the reigning NBA champions beat the Pacers in Indianapolis to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first-round series. It was his 17th career playoff triple-double. Only Magic Johnson, with 30, has more.
“I didn’t know it was the biggest comeback,” said James, who became the third-highest scorer in the playoffs with 5 670 points, ahead of Kobe Bryant and trailing only Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“I just try to put myself in position to help my teammates win. I try to empower them, make them better, make them believe we can be great every night.”
Until Thursday, no team had come from more than 21 points behind at halftime to win a playoff game – the previous record was set in 1948 by Baltimore against Philadelphia.
The Cavs were down 74-49 at halftime, after earlier trailing by 26 points.
“I don’t settle for being not as great as I can be,” James said. “It’s not going to result in a stat line like this every night. The only thing that matters is the win and that’s what I’m here for.
“To win on the road in the post-season is already tough enough. To win in the fashion we did tonight is even tougher.”