LeBron James set the month of February on fire, and March doesn’t seem that different.
However no one expected the King to showcase his talents like he did tonight at American Airlines Arena in Miami. 61 points (career high, most in Miami Heat franchise history), 7 rebounds, & 5 assists in what came about quite easily from the NBA’s 4-time reigning MVP…a chant he would hear loud from the crowd. The victims of tonight’s historic outing would be none other than the Charlotte Bobcats, yes the same developing group who suffered a 62 point effort from LeBron’s rival/good friend Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.
Shooting 22-33 (8-10 from 3pt) LeBron kept it efficient, and despite the Bobcats throwing double teams as soon as he touched the half court line it didn’t stop the King from keeping his promise of a 50-60 point game this season. That promise was made right after Melo’s big night, and during the after math of Kevin Durant’s scoring spree. LeBron didn’t want those two to have all the fun, and if you didn’t notice already he’s also taking to heart this season’s MVP race. One in which he himself, and Oklahoma City Thunder super star Kevin Durant have made into a two man show.
How good was LeBron’s big night? For starters LeBron was shooting the lights out, at one point going 8-8 from beyond the arc. And despite the lowly reputation of this Bobcats team in years past; they’re 7th in the Eastern Conference with a roster full of guys willing to put forth big time effort every night. Center Al Jefferson proved that tonight continuing his brilliant play this season with 38 pts, and 19 rebounds. However due to LeBron’s career night Jefferson’s big time performance will go by unappreciated by most. Lastly with no Dwyane Wade on the floor tonight, LeBron went extra “retro Cleveland-mode” for his career high, despite being keyed on double teams.
The MVP race has turned into something most couldn’t have imagined before this month arrived. Kevin Durant was tearing through the league seemingly making it his (in the eyes of most), and had many elevating him above LeBron. However after the Heat’s January 29th loss to Durant & the Thunder, LeBron’s play has risen to new heights as if to say “Don’t forget why I have four of those MVP’s to begin with”. The Heat have now won 11 of their last 12 games, and all signs point to another late season surge.
LeBron’s teammates enjoyed this just as much as he did, and the usual video bombs that take place during post game interviews didn’t happen. History was made, and they were just happy to be apart of it. Speaking of history Glenn Rice’s previous franchise high of 56 points would be surpassed tonight, a mark that stood for 19 years.
There are few words to describe what we saw from James tonight, Head coach Erik Spoelstra gave it a shot after the game “It was a special performance. He was in a great groove.”