Did you see LeBron James match his career playoff high during the Brooklyn Nets game?
On June 7, 2012 in Boston’s TD Garden it was said that LeBron James had a certain attitude. It was later described by the Heats President Pat Riley as like “a tiger hunched over its kill’.
James then proceeded to go out and score 45 points in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Celtics and add 15 rebounds and 5 assists in the process.
This led to Miami’s 98-79 win and eventual series victory. The Heat would go on to capture the NBA Championship that year as well, their first of back to back titles in 2012 and 2013.
Perhaps “King James” 49 point effort in the 102-96 “W” against Brooklyn on Monday night would have to take a back seat to that one, but it did put Miami up 3-1 in the semi-final series that they would wrap up on Wednesday with a 96-94 series clinching triumph.
LeBron James quote of “That’s the first time I’ve been disappointed in myself in a win” stems from his missing the last free throw of the game with 1.1 seconds remaining that would have established a new personal career playoff scoring record at the half century mark.
Another quote that may not make it into a LeBron James biography came from Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra who described the performance as “Simply indefatigable”. A quick trip to the nearest thesaurus found a synonym of “untiring”.
Relentless may be a better description of the 49 point effort as he shot 16 of 24, making 11 of 12 near the rim. He was 50% from beyond the arc (3-6) and 14 of 19 from the charity stripe. James was credited with 6 boards, all from the defensive end and added 2 assists to his 43 minutes on the court. His quarterly scoring output of 12, 13, 15 and 9 also displays consistency.
He is not recognized often enough for his defensive prowess which was exhibited in this game as well. The Nets Joe Johnson was having a solid effort on the offensive end until James began to guard him shutting him out of the games last 2 Brooklyn offensive possessions.
Another LeBron James playoff accomplishment that was lost in the 49 point scoring effort was this being his seventh postseason contest where he scored at least 45 points. This tied him for third all-time in that statistic trailing only Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.
The 49 points also surpassed the Heat record of 46 set by Dwayne Wade in the 2010 playoffs. James previous feat was performed while he was still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James contract allows him to enter free agency following this season if he so chooses.
Does anyone think he would leave this South Beach dynasty in the making? The answer is most probably not. However, with “King James” you can never tell. Is there another “The Decision” waiting on ESPN? The answer to that one is PLEASE NO! But residents of a certain city near the Akron, OH. birthplace of LeBron Raymone James are keeping their collective fingers crossed.
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