LeBron James has dominated throughout the first two games of the NBA Finals, and Wednesday night was no different.
Just minutes into the first quarter of Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, James pump-faked and made a move under Golden State’s JaVale McGee while at the top of the key. James, though, was too far from the rim to jut lay it in and quickly running out of time on the shot clock.
Instead of just throwing up a floater from the free throw line, or passing it off to a teammate, James took matters into his own hands. He threw the ball off the backboard, quickly caught it and slammed it down, completing the perfect solo alley-oop.
It seriously looked like something out of the old “NBA Jam” video game.
Take a look at it again:
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 7, 2018
The NBA referees — who were tweeting anonymously throughout Game 3 — confirmed shortly after the dunk that it was in fact a legal move, too.
On that self alley-oop: once the ball hits the backboard, rim or another player, the offensive player is allowed to regain possession. It's a legal play. #RefWatchParty
— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) June 7, 2018
The Internet, naturally, went nuts.
— Chasity Melvin (@chasitymelvin) June 7, 2018
— Peter Hartlaub (@peterhartlaub) June 7, 2018
LEBRON JAMES DID YOU JUST DO THAT!?!? pic.twitter.com/dVLkrCmIU2
— TELLE SMITH (@tellesmith) June 7, 2018
James’ dunk capped a quick 12-4 run to start the game for the Cavaliers, who held a 29-28 lead after the opening period.
James finished with a triple double with 33 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds on Wednesday, though it wasn’t enough. Kevin Durant dropped 43 points and led the Warriors to a 110-102 win to take the 3-0 series lead.
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