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Masked man LeBron drops 31 powering Heat to easy win over Knicks

Feb 28, 2014, 12:23 AM EDT

New York at Miami Getty Images

About that mask — a black carbon fiber one to protect his broken nose — impacting LeBron James’ shot… not so much.

Call him Bane. Or Batman. Or the Phantom of the Opera. Or Hannibal Lector. To me LeBron looked like LeBron — he dropped 31 points (his fifth straight game over 30) on 13-of-19 shooting powering Miami to an easy 108-82 win over the reeling New York Knicks Thursday night in Miami, and also on national television.

LeBron didn’t look so much like a guy worried about his nose as much as he looked rested, like a guy who just had a week off. He was in attack mode from the second he stepped on the court and went 10-of-11 at the rim on the night — something aided by just lazy, sad transition defense by the Knicks. If you miss shots and don’t get back in transition against the Heat… well, it looks a lot like this game. The Heat had a transition lay-up line at points.

LeBron also got help. Dwyane Wade had 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and reminded everyone that when Wade and LeBron are both clicking there may not be another team in the NBA that stands a chance. Ray Allen Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers each had 11.

Carmelo Anthony would have loved some help.

Once again he played well — 24 first-half points on his way to 29 on the game on 20 shots. He carried the Knicks offense for stretches, including a 21-10 Knicks run to close out the half that cut lead to five at the break. You can’t really ask more of the man.

But he was alone on an island. Whether Raymond Felton was distracted or just terrible is up for debate, but he was 1-of-7 shooting. Tim Hardaway Jr. was 2-of-15. Pablo Prigioni was scoreless. Amar’e Stoudemire was -30. The Knicks as a team were 4-of-23 from three. Thing is for much of the game the Knicks really did give a good effort, they were just outclassed.

The Heat are starting to round into the championship form we expect, the Knicks are coming apart at the seams. All that’s really left is for Knicks fans to start riding the “what will Carmelo Anthony do this summer?” roller coaster, which will have a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns before we get to July.

If he keeps playing like this, LeBron can wear that mask as long as he would like.

  1. miamatt - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    Heat looking good. Crisp and confident on offense, suffocating on defense. Still a ways to go before the playoffs, but a stretch like is what we see every year from the Heat when the calendar turns to March.

    • sportsfan18 - Feb 28, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      LBJ is shooting more. Several weeks back he make a quip about how much Durant was shooting.

      LBJ took more shots his first 2 seasons with the Heat than he did last yr or to this point this season, so it isn’t Wade and Bosh as they were with him when he shot more.

      Also, Durant HAS shot more this season since Westbrook has hardly played at all.

      If Westbrook had played all season, he would have taken many shots each game too and Durant would be taking less.

      LBJ has averaged over 22 shots a game the last 5 games…

      If James wants to shoot as much as Durant, no one is going to stop him.

      • drewdatwit84 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:02 AM

        absolutely. and as efficient as he’s been for the past couple years, dude, KEEP ON shooting. the Heat is your team anyway. 22 shots every night. Go crazy.

      • antistratfordian - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:11 AM

        “If James wants to shoot as much as Durant, no one is going to stop him.”

        Nah. Wade will. You won’t see LeBron jacking up 30 shots in regulation any time soon (KD has attempted 30 shots with and without Westbrook). Don’t forget who Dwyane Wade is.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - Feb 28, 2014 at 5:03 AM

        If the opponents can’t stop him, his coaches and teammates are hardly likely to see any reason to try

  2. pantsfreezone - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:53 AM

    Did you hear that noise? That was the rest of the NBA puckering up. The Heat is on.

    • money2long - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Yea. That was a big statement game

    • cruzan80 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      Wake me when they do that to the Pacers… the meantime…..YAWN!

      • pantsfreezone - Mar 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        The Pacers that are struggling to beat powerhouses like the Bucks? When George shoots 30% in the playoffs and Roy Hibbert gets called for defensive 3 seconds correctly, Pacers fans are going to look a lot like Celtics and Bulls fans. Silly.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 28, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    Must have been the refs, cheating against the Knicks again.

    • leahcima1 - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      Not everyone one is contaobjerk0. 1972’s irony seems to have been lost on some people. :)

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Or the PED’s…

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Canton’s a pea brain LOSER.

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      I see my biggest supporters are back. Typical to only hear from them after a Heat win (72 is excluded from that comment). I never complain about officiating or injuries. PEDs are another story.

  4. ironyisadeadscene - Feb 28, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    Ugh, we get it…he’s wearing a mask…jesus. He had a good game despite this site’s ridiculous attempt to bring up the mask EVERY time. Players have donned the mask plenty of times in the past, get over it.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      I want to see LeBron wear goggles, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kurt Rambis.

  5. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    honestly, we go as lebron goes and he’s usually on ..but when he AND D-Wade is on, thats usually when the Wins become easy and or blowouts

  6. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Feb 28, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    phantom of the opera?

  7. thraiderskin - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Dude should find a way to always wear that mask, looks like a demon with it!

  8. jzone954 - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Canton bounds team

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      He’s a Knicks fan AND a Dolphins fan. The guy sure is attracted to dumpster fires. Think he’s dating Octomom too.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        Marlins are also the pride of Miami with their beautiful Marlins Park. Miami is attracted to dumpster fires.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        Los Angeles doesn’t even have a pro football team. It’s a magnet for homeless people.

  9. jzone954 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    I love slapping up the Knicks

  10. jzone954 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    The Knicks AND the dolphins?!?!?!?

  11. jzone954 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I have to admit, Carmelo is a scoring machine and I have a lot of respect for his game.

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      He needs to get the hell out of the sphincter of the Universe: New Yawk.

  12. rodge1 - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:49 AM


    Looting and riots too right?… Oh wait that’s LA.

  13. gostlcards5 - Feb 28, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Bane…Hannibal Lector….that’s funny stuff, Kurt.

  14. golfrangeman - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Never complain about officiating? How many times have you said David Stern rigged the games? Tell me how he’s doing that without the officials being involved?

  15. jzone954 - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    It’s all in good fun canton. lol

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