After a brutal loss in Orlando that fuelled a fire threatening to burn the organisation to the ground, the Cleveland Cavaliers desperately needed a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
They had to work overtime to get it, but it came — as all things for the Cavs do — off the fingertips of LeBron James.
James hit a turnaround, buzzer-beating, game-winning jumper over the outstretched hands of Wolves All-Star Jimmy Butler with no time remaining on the clock, sending the fans at Quicken Loans Arena into hysterics and sending the Cavs to a thrilling 140-138 victory.
It was a brilliant ending to a game that saw James do just about everything for Cleveland, finishing with 37 points on 16-for-22 shooting, 15 assists and 10 rebounds — his ninth triple-double of the season — in 48 minutes and 19 seconds of floor time.
LeBron erases Butler's shot down the stretch! 🚫🚫🚫 pic.twitter.com/NGrrQ2pfiY— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 8, 2018
Cleveland needed every ounce of it to overcome the Wolves, who got 35 points, six assists and five rebounds from Butler and a sparkling 30-point, 12-rebound performance from center Karl-Anthony Towns, who made all six of his 3-point tries and 10 of his 12 field-goal attempts overall.
He didn’t get a single shot attempt in the extra session, though, as James and Butler went mano a mano for the victory.
In the end, LeBron got the upper hand, getting Cleveland back on the right side of the ledger and allowing everyone in Northeast Ohio — for one night, at least — to exhale.