The perfectionist in LeBron James had frowned on the inefficient way he played in the first four games of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the way he dominated the ball, shoveled up contested shots and committed a multitude of turnovers. The pragmatist in James, though, knew the misses and miscues were a necessary byproduct of putting a beat-up team on his back.
On Tuesday night, both sides of James walked off the floor satisfied. He scored 38 points in an almost spotless performance to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of their second-round playoff series.
In the first four games, James shot 37.7 percent (40 for 106), and he committed 15 turnovers in Games 3 and 4 combined. Even after scoring 27 points and sinking the game-winning shot in Game 4 on Sunday, James rued his unseemly numbers.