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Final-second shots are tough; just ask LeBron James

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Lowry, Raptors take down Cavs (1:23)

Kyle Lowry sinks the go-ahead jumper with 3.8 seconds left, part of career-high 43-point night, followed by LeBron James throwing up the potential game winner with no success and the Raptors prevail over the Cavs 99-97. (1:23)

The stat began to circulate among ESPN's basketball brains not long after LeBron James airballed a potential winning hoist from 3-point range last Friday night in Toronto.

The very contested miss lowered LeBron's regular-season success rate to a mere 10.6 percent in the past 10 seasons -- on 5-for-47 shooting -- when attempting a tying or go-ahead shot in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.

Yet to properly process a number that sounds so uncharacteristically low, it helps to have some context on what has to be considered some of the toughest circumstances that a shooter can face.

So we consulted with Justin Page from ESPN Stats & Information, who informs us that the league average in that situation, in the same time frame, is more than double LeBron's conversion rate but still a rather modest 22.7 percent.

‎The following table ‎features the 21 players who, across the same 10-season span, have at least 25 attempts to tie or win the game in the final five ticks of regulation or OT.

Two other notes that will surely interest you:

Stephen Curry's name isn't on the list because, in his seven NBA seasons, he's had the opportunity to attempt only 19 such shots in the final five seconds of regulation or an OT period ... and has made six.

As for Michael Jeffrey Jordan ...

The only available data on such attempts covers MJ's two seasons in Washington and his last two seasons with the Bulls. He was 6 for 15 on such shots.

Turns out he was actually 6 for 10 in these toughest of conditions until going 0 for 5 in his final season with the Wizards in 2002-03.