LeBron James' Game-Winner in OT to Beat Timberwolves Sparks Twitter Eruption

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, left, celebrates after making the game-winning basket in overtime in an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 140-138 in overtime. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers entered Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at a mere 6-13 in their previous 19 contests, but LeBron James had enough of the struggles in the final seconds of overtime.

After blocking Jimmy Butler's attempt on one end, James caught the inbounds pass with one second remaining and drilled the game-winning turnaround to give the Cavaliers the 140-138 victory at Quicken Loans Arena:

Twitter naturally reacted to James' brilliance:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

37, a triple-double, and a game winner for The King! https://t.co/fx8QkvDkbw

Shea Serrano @SheaSerrano

and there are people who swear lebron is overrated lol

The way the Cavaliers executed the final shot had many on social media reminiscing about Christian Laettner's famous shot in the NCAA tournament when he was still at Duke:

Tim Cato @tim_cato

how you gonna let lebron go christian laettner on you

Royce Young @royceyoung

Laettner James.

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

They ran the Laettner play. Good god. LeBron is ridiculous.

James went into takeover mode when the game was hanging in the balance, but he was dominant throughout the contest.

He finished with a triple-double of 37 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, facilitating the offense with his timely passing whenever Minnesota would send additional defensive help his way and scoring when he was left in one-on-one situations with Butler or whoever else drew the unenviable task of guarding him.

His ability to have an overall impact on the game has been a defining characteristic of his career, and he joined some impressive company Wednesday because of it:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

LeBron joins MJ and KG as the kings of their franchises. https://t.co/l6UMF6b9IL

James ultimately prevailed in the thrilling back-and-forth between him and Butler, as the Minnesota swingman kept the Timberwolves right there with Cleveland until the final buzzer.

He tallied 35 points, six assists and five rebounds, coming just short of matching the King in the scoring department:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

LeBron James and Jimmy Butler traded blows all night. The only difference in their point total was the difference in the game. https://t.co/CDgpWLR1YG

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

LeBron vs Jimmy Butler so rarely disappoints. Another great chapter tonight.

Here are some of the other reactions from the game that featured 40 combined three-pointers from the two sides:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Everyone gets a three…geez. 40 combined threes between the Cavaliers and Timberwolves. A new NBA record. https://t.co/MvcBITKQgZ

Dan Carson @TheDoctorCarson

“I mean I was open tho" https://t.co/ndVehOTu8t

Dane Carbaugh @danecarbaugh

I just wish Kevin Love was alive to see this

The Cavaliers still need some work on the defensive side—as Minnesota's 138 points can attest to—but they remain a threat to win the Eastern Conference and challenge the West's winner in the Finals as long as James is on their side.

His individual brilliance allows him to take over critical moments, as he did once again Wednesday.

James and Cleveland will look to parlay the last-second victory into a winning streak with a Friday contest against the Atlanta Hawks.


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