Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson was critical in his team's 105-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Sunday's Game 7 with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but he couldn't match LeBron James' 45 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a head-turning 43 minutes.
Thompson compared James' ability to thrive at such a high level even in his 15th season to a Lamborghini motor, as Cleveland.com shared:
While that Lamborghini was the primary reason the Cavaliers won thanks to another memorable performance on the marquee stage, Thompson was part of an important showing from the supporting cast.
The Cavaliers actually outscored the Pacers by six points in the limited time James was sidelined when he went to the locker room for a stretch in the third and fourth quarters, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the game. In addition to Thompson's double-double, Kevin Love had 14 points and four monster three-pointers, and JR Smith and George Hill each had 11 points.
It was a bounce-back performance from Thompson, in particular, considering he played just 23 total minutes in the first six games against Indiana.
James needed all the help he could get against a pesky Pacers team that routinely overcame double-digit deficits—including one Sunday—throughout the series and pushed the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions to a decisive Game 7.
He will need that Lamborghini motor in the upcoming stages of the playoffs since he won't have home-court advantage against the Toronto Raptors in the second round or either the Boston Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals should they advance that far.
James played at least 40 minutes in all but one game of the first-round series, which in theory should be an issue moving forward for most. However, this is a 33-year-old who led the NBA in total minutes this season and found himself in the thick of the MVP race.
Thompson may be on to something with the Lamborghini comparison.