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2017 NBA Playoffs

LeBron James, now second all-time in playoff scoring, is mighty close to catching Michael Jordan

Cavaliers star needs 210 points to match Jordan for the most points in postseason history

Three minutes into the third quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Game 2 Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with the Toronto Raptors, LeBron James sliced through the paint, caught the rock on the left wing and fired.

“Here’s James. Yes!” play-by-play guru Marv Albert exclaimed on the TNT broadcast. “It’s another 3 from LeBron James, and he has now tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar … for second all-time in terms of playoff scoring.”

On his team’s next possession, James pulled up again, and with another swish from deep he claimed sole possession of second place on the list of most points scored in NBA playoff history. Only one player is ahead of him. “The leader, Michael Jordan, is obviously very much in sight of LeBron,” Albert added between plays.

After Cleveland’s 125-103 Game 2 win over the Raptors, in which James scored 39 points on an efficient 71 percent shooting from the field, The King sits at 5,777 career playoff points, 210 behind Jordan’s career mark of 5,987. If James keeps up the prolific pace at which he’s scoring this postseason (34.2 points a game), he’ll pass Jordan in the next seven games. If not by then, he’ll most certainly achieve the milestone before the end of the 2017 postseason. (That’s assuming nothing crazy happens and the Raptors don’t win the next four games to upset the Cavs.)

Going after Jordan’s numbers and his title as the GOAT (greatest of all time) is nothing new for James. He’s been doing so since he was deemed “The Chosen One” while still in high school. Striving to be the best has become a part of James’ livelihood in the NBA.

“My motivation is this ghost I’m chasing,” James told Sports Illustrated in August 2016. “The ghost played in Chicago.”

James will soon blow Jordan’s career playoff points out of the water. But the magic number he’s really chasing is six — the number of NBA championship rings Jordan has to his name. James, with three rings, might get there, but he might not. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t one day be considered the greatest.

Aaron Dodson is an associate editor at The Undefeated. Often mistaken for Aaron Dobson, formerly of the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, he was one letter away from being an NFL wide receiver.