In an NBA season where it seems like someone is having a 50-point game almost every other night, it was only a matter of time before the best player in the world dropped in 50! And that “time” came last Sunday night when LeBron James drained 51 points as his L.A. Lakers cruised to an easy 113-97 win in Miami against the Heat.
Just a day after Kemba Walker had scored 60 for the Charlotte Hornets (the most points by one player in a game this season) in a losing effort against the 76ers 122-119, The “King” James scored 19 points in the first quarter and went 6-8 from 3 on his way to 51. With his final three-pointer coming with 16.5 seconds left and edging his total over the half-century mark.
ESPN quoting LeBron after the game:
“I felt pretty good. I felt pretty good. I think we were all kind of shell-shocked in Orlando from that cross-country flight [the game in Miami was the 2nd in a back-2-back], getting in late to Orlando and just having the time difference. ... But we was able to get some good rest last night and feel pretty good about today's game.”
The night ended up being significant for LeBron in a number of ways and one way had nothing to do with his points total. The Lakers win versus the Heat was the first time LeBron James has won a game in Miami since he left the Heat back in 2014. Prior to the game last night, LeBron hadn’t won in Miami (as a member of a visiting team) since January 25th, 2010!
Other notes of interest concerning his big game include the fact that it was his 12th 50-point game. and that moves him into the 12th place on the career 50-point game list – breaking the tie he was in with Allen Iverson.
He also became only the 5th player in history to have 50-point games for three teams (Jamal Crawford, Bernard King, Moses Malone, Wilt Chamberlain). And he is now one of only three players to have multiple 40-point games in their 16th season. The other two were also Lakers: Kobe Bryant & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Maybe the question should be what does it mean to Kyrie Irving? LeBron got his 51st point via a 3-point shot with 16.5 seconds left, the shot clock winding down and the win already in the bank. While not exactly the same situation that saw Jamal Murray attempt a 3, as time ran out, to get 50 against the Celtics and piss off Kyrie, it is pretty close.
Wonder if Irving contacted his old teammate and told him that it was a “bulls#$t move” as well?