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The Starting 5 | LeBron James reigns supreme

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates a basket in the second half of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Indianapolis. The Cavaliers defeated the Pacers 119-114. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet

1. LeBron James ‘still amazes’ his Cavaliers teammates and did it again in Game 3 — Chris Fedor, Cleveland.com

The Cavaliers looked to be on their way to an ugly Game 3 loss in Indiana, but LeBron James had something to say about that. LeBron added another chapter to his legend with another performance for the ages, leading a historic 26-point comeback and recording a 40-point triple-double in the process. He also passed Kobe Bryant on the all-time playoff scoring list. And even though his teammates have seen this plenty before, this type of effort still amazes them.

2. Paul George deserves better than the Pacers — Zito Madu, SB Nation

On the other side of LeBron’s greatness was Paul George. George has had a heck of a series in his own right, and he nearly notched a triple-double in Game 3. But George’s excellence hasn’t resulted in any wins, and this latest collapse will only bring more questions about his future in Indiana. This is the second straight year in which George’s herculean efforts will still only amount to a first-round exit, and the Pacers are running out of time to build a contender around him.

3. The Bucks’ Defense Has Quarantined DeMar DeRozan — Rob Mahoney — The Crossover

The Bucks destroyed the Raptors in epic fashion in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead. Milwaukee’s defense has been a huge factor in this series, and Thursday night DeMar DeRozan couldn’t get anything going against the lengthy, athletic Bucks. DeRozan only scored eight points and missed all eight of his field goal attempts. Mahoney dives into how Milwaukee corralled him.

4. Zach Randolph leads throwback night as the Memphis Grizzlies earn critical win over San Antonio Spurs — Sekou Smith, NBA.com

Grit ‘n’ Grind was alive for at least one more night as the Grizzlies pounded the Spurs following head coach David Fizdale’s epic postgame rant in the aftermath of Game 2. Fizdale made some changes to his starting lineup, namely inserting Zach Randolph, and the team rallied together for the big win. Randolph was a catalyst for Memphis, scoring 21 points and dominating down low.

5. Russell Westbrook will win the NBA MVP award over James Harden — Max Croes, The Dream Shake

Croes, a Rockets blogger, spent several weeks gathering data from MVP voters to try to determine who will win this year’s hotly contested award. It appears Rockets fans will not be happy, as based on the findings Russell Westbrook will earn the trophy. It’s not surprising given Westbrook’s insane close to the season and the growing narrative around his candidacy. Rockets fans will just have to take solace in their team having a 2-0 lead over Westbrook’s Thunder.

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