Just when you think you got LeBron James figured out, he goes and pulls something like this off: a 61-point outing against the league’s sixth best defense.
Scoring 25 of those 61 in the third quarter, LeBron finished the night shooting 22-for-33 from the field, 8-for-10 from three, including making his first eight, and 9-for-12 from the foul line.
It’s the highest scoring game of his career, breaking the 56-point mark he scored in a loss against Toronto back in 2005, and it’s the highest scoring game in Heat franchise history, snapping the 56-point mark set by Glen Rice nearly two decades ago.
It’s the fourth time since the 1986-87 season a player has recorded at least 61 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in a single game. The other three were Tracy McGrady (62-10-5), Michael Jordan (69-18-6) and David Robinson (71-14-5).
LeBron, however, needed only 41 minutes to record his 61-7-5. Those other three all played at least 44 minutes, with Jordan playing 50 minutes in a game that went into overtime.
LeBron also made only nine free throws and attempted only 12. Jordan, Robinson and McGrady by comparison all took at least 23 free throw attempts.
Also, none of them shot better than 64 percent. LeBron was at 67 percent against the Bobcats. He became one of only four players in NBA history to score at least 60 points on at least 30 shots on better than 60 percent shooting.
None of LeBron’s makes came off a dunk.
In other words, he’s really good. In case you didn’t already know.
Despite only playing with the Miami Heat for three years, it was extremely difficult to narrow down LeBron’s best dunks as a member of the Heat to only 15. It’s just what tends to happen when you have the power and strength of Karl Malone, the speed and agility of Tim Hardaway and the hangtime of Julius Erving.
What do you get from that mixture? A perfect storm of rim-rattling, dunk-defying and altitude-achieving throwdowns that shake the heavens and the earth themselves. Dunks put down with such ferocity that Satan is banging on the ceiling of Hell with a broom telling LeBron to keep it down up there.
Next time you’re at the American Airlines Arena, make sure to take notice of the divots left in the ceiling by LeBron’s knuckles.
Since we’re all going through basketball withdrawals, a few of LeBron’s dunks will suffice until we start adding new videos to the King’s resume next season.