LeBron James scored his 20th career playoff triple double this weekend -- here's what that means

Getty ImagesLeBron James.
  • LeBron James had a performance to remember on a night to forget.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers were completely outclassed by the Indiana Pacers and lost Game 1 by a 98-80 score.
  • However, LeBron tallied his 20th career triple double in the playoffs.
  • He is only the second player in NBA playoff history to reach that mark.

LeBron James had a performance to remember on a night to forget when the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

His teammates – Kevin Love, Jeff Green, Rodney Hood, and George Hill – only managed 25 points between them, which meant the Cavs struggled to match the Pacers and lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series by a 98-80 score.

The Pacers dictated the pace and outplayed the Cavs by establishing an early dominance of the ball. By the end of the first quarter, the Pacers had a 19-point lead and were tactically superior to the Cavs at crucial points throughout the game.

The only advantage the Cavs had, really, was James. But even the 33-year-old’s 20th career playoff triple double was not enough to drag the Cavs to victory.

What is a triple double?

A triple double happens when a player posts double-digit statistics in three key categories. The most common way to score a triple double in the NBA is through points, assists, and rebounds – like James managed to do (24 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds) against the Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena.

James is currently sixth in the all-time list of triple doubles, as he now has 73 – five behind former Philadelphia 76ers center Wilt Chamberlain in 5th, but 108 behind triple double table-topper Oscar Robertson, who played point guard for the Cincinnati Royals in the 1960s and Milwaukee Bucks in the early 1970s.

But when it comes to playoff action alone, James is approaching the triple double king Magic Johnson, the only player to have tallied more triple doubles (30) than him.

James and the Cavs are next in action on Wednesday, when they take on the Pacers once again in Game 2.

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