I was in the AmericanAirlines Arena when LeBron James scored a career-high and franchise-record 61 points in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats wearing a Miami Heat uniform.
I am grateful to say I was in the same building when James scored a season-high 51 points in a 113–97 win over the Miami Heat, in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. The Lakers (9-7) seventh win in their last nine games.
Oh, what a feeling.
In a timeout, Lance Stephenson challenged James who had 48 points with the game in the hands of the Lakers and out of reach for the Heat.
“I bet you won’t go for the 3,” Stephenson said.
James accepted the challenge, connecting on a 32-foot 3-pointer, the rest is history.
James scored a 50 piece for the 13th time in his career, including Game 1 of last season’s NBA Finals in an overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors.
James was 19 for 31 from the field, 6 for 8 from 3-point range, becoming the seventh player to score at least 51 in a game against Miami, a team he helped win two NBA titles within the span of four straight trips to the NBA Finals.
“I have always been pretty efficient with my game, I don’t like taking uncharacteristic shots,” James said. “My teammates look towards me to lead them to victory, and I was able to do that.”
Since his exodus from the Heat and taking his talents back to Cleveland after the 2014 NBA Finals, James was 0-4 against Miami; his teams were 0-7, when including the three Cleveland-Miami games that he sat out for countless reasons.
James became the fifth player (Bernard King, Jamal Crawford, Moses Malone, and Wilt Chamberlain) in NBA history to score 50-plus points with three different NBA franchises.
“I have played for three very historic franchises in the time I have played,” James said. “Miami we did some historical things, Cleveland we were able to do something historical; obviously the Lakers speak for itself for what they have been able to do. My teammates, my coaching staff they just put that trust in me to go out and make plays, I try to make things happen.
Miami is not heating up at the moment.
It was their fourth straight home loss. Josh Richardson was ejected in the fourth quarter after throwing one of his sneakers into the stands. Richardson was upset about a call that he felt he didn’t get.
“I just can’t let that happen,” Richardson said.
Miami (6-10), is off to its second-worst start in the last 12 years. Moreover, the last time Miami lost four straight at home was early in the 2014-15 season.
Wayne Ellington led the way scoring 19 points for the Heat. Dwyane Wade remained on leave after the birth of his daughter, no timetable on his return.
The beat goes on.
The Lakers take their talents to visit Cleveland on Wednesday night. The Heat host Brooklyn on Tuesday night.