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Just how good was LeBron James on Thursday?

Feb 4, 2011, 1:46 PM EST

Miami Heat v Orlando Magic Getty Images

Did you see it? Did you see just how fantastic LeBron James was last night?

If you didn’t, you missed the best regular season performance of this season and maybe the last few. Our man Matt Moore (writing for CBSSports) did the research on just how amazing he was.

James took 25 shots and only missed eight of them. He only missed three free throws. 3-5 from the arc, and he nailed more jumpers than he missed. That’s a remarkable barrage, topped only by the fact that he also dropped in 11 rebounds, and eight assists which netted 19 points (three 3-point assists and five 2-point assists). So of the Heat’s 104 points, James himself created 70 points, or over 67% of the team’s total offense. The very definition of high-usage, while also facilitating and getting his teammates involved. It was the most complete game we’ve seen, and it came in a huge win over a division rival….

James’ performance was among his all-time greatest performances. It was his highest rebound total in a 50-plus-point game and the second highest in rebounds plus assists in a 50-plus-point game. Historically, it was only the fourth 50-plus-point, 11-plus rebound, 8-plus-assist game in history, with Jordan, Bryant, and Wade owners of the other three. It’s the second highest field goal percentage in such an effort, behind Jordan’s 20 of 28 performance in ’89. And with Wade and Bryant’s both coming in a triple-overtime and double-overtime game respectively, Jordan and James are the only two players in history to complete a 50-11-8 game in regulation.  What’s more? This was the slowest-paced game of those historic efforts, with an estimated 88 possessions, while Bryant’s was at 90.  This wasn’t just a herculean effort, it was the very model of modern efficiency.

Here, watch the video of his 23 first quarter points.

Notice that only six of those points came in the paint (two of those on an offensive rebound he worked hard for). Most of the shots were well-contested jumpers. This wasn’t given to him like he was playing the Raptors zone, he earned this.

Just a reminder that James is still the best player on the planet.

  1. secdominance - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    waiting on the Kobe fans who will bring up how Lebron has no rings

  2. digitalpoo - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I love how the crowds “boos” turn into “awes”

    • thestudiokida - Feb 4, 2011 at 4:46 PM

      @digitalpoo That’s something I’ve noticed all over the NBA. When LeBron comes to town everybody buys a ticket and boos the Heat until James does something spectacular. Then you hear some cheering and some ooo-ing & awww-ing. Can’t blame them though.

  3. chitownmatt - Feb 4, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    When will you guys get off the numbers???
    Orlando (the team) was barley 2″ off a missed three (and a non-call) that would have tied up the game against the Heat (the team) and forced overtime or, with a foul-shot, might have won.
    LeBron is awesome, but the NBA ain’t one-on-one.

    The Heat got really lucky that that three didn’t fall.

    • trueballs - Feb 4, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      Chitownmatt- Orlando was extremely lucky to get as close as they did. They were down 20 with about 4-5 minutes to go. They made several contested threes. Shut up.

  4. fredgordon112233 - Feb 5, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    On Jan. 25, 1960, Chamberlain, as a rookie, 58 points and grabbed 42 rebounds against the Pistons.

    On December 8, 1961, Chamberlain scored 78 points and collected 43 rebounds against the Lakers.

    On February 2, 1968 against the Pistons, he logged 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists. The only player ever to get 20, 20, 20…

  5. fredgordon112233 - Feb 5, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Oh, and I forgot to add that in the 1961–62 NBA season Chamberlain averaged more than 50 points per game and more than 25 Rebounds per game… HE AVERAGED THIS FOR THE SEASON!!!

    I do not know why people get all up about lebron, kobe and jordan. Yes, the pace of the game has something to do with wilt’s numbers but come on! no one today or back then were even close.

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