The NBA is a scoring league. While getting the most points is the goal of any sport, basketball takes it to the next level. That’s why there’s such an emphasis on the ability to put the ball through the basket, and why the best players of all time are able to score with ease.
There have been many great shooting performances in NBA history. To look at some examples, the following article will take a deep dive into Lebron James’ best scoring games. Those nights will show how good he’s been on the court, and how he managed to rise above everyone else.
Starting Off Strong
Most top NBA scorers have a niche. They are either good at certain post moves, know how to shoot from deep, or use their speed to get to the rim. Lebron breaks that mold by being much more versatile. He has the ability to get the ball in the basket in numerous ways.
That was on full display on February 20th, 2009 when, as a young man, he put up an incredibly impressive 55 point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks. The game was his second fifty point game of the season, and helped catapult him to his first ever MVP.
During the contest, Lebron bullied the opposing team at the rim and on tough drives. He snatched up five rebounds, dished out nine assists, and shot 16 of 29 in 40 minutes. It was a well-rounded performance to go alongside the incredible scoring.
One Point Further
Getting 55 points is an impressive mark for any NBA player, but Lebron has eclipsed it a few times. In fact, he beat out his performance against the Bucks by one point on two different occasions.
The first of those came on March 20th, 2005. When facing the Toronto Raptors, Lebron led the Cavaliers through a stunning display. Using his superior athleticism and inherent quickness, the King put up 56 points alongside 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.
Though Cleveland went on to lose the game, it was only Lebron’s second year in the league and showed exactly what type of superstar he would be. He played all 48 minutes and had no issues keeping pace. The contest also made him the youngest player to put up 50 in a game.
He then matched that sophomore performance earlier his year; putting up 56 seventeen years after that night in Toronto. At the age of thirty seven, the superstar combined a mix of deep shooting and down low scoring to put up his most impressive performance with the Lakers.
It was the third highest scoring game of his career, and revealed just how powerful he still is when he puts his mind to it.
Big, and Bigger
The above games are all historically great performances by a historically great player. Even so, Lebron outdid them two other times in his career. The first occurred in 2017, when the King came into Washington and put up 23 baskets against the Wizards.
He finished with 57 points on what would end up being one of the most complete games of his entire career. The King also recorded 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and two blocks in a total of 42 minutes. It tied the Cavalier record for points in a game.
As great as that game was for both Lebron and Cleveland, his best-ever scoring night came while down in Miami. When playing for the Heat super team, James found himself facing off against an incredibly weak Charlotte Bobcat team on March 3rd, 2014.
That was a huge mismatch, and everyone knew it. Both teams expected James to have a big night, and he more than delivered by putting up the highest scoring game of his career. In front of his home crowd, the King broke sixty for the first and only time with a 61 point finish.
It was also the only game where Lebron put up fifty or more in front of a home crowd. He shot 66.7 percent from the field and an impressive 80 percent from three. It was Lebron’s best shooting game of all time, and a masterclass of scoring efficiency.
Lebron is one of the best scorers of all time, so it comes as no surprise that he’s put on a show during many different occasions. Like so many other superstars, once he gets going it’s hard to stop. He didn’t just score a lot in the above scenarios, he was down right other worldly.
His sixty point performance will always be his best offensive game, but few have put up fifty or more points as much as the legend. He might have a few big performances in him yet. Even so, getting back to that mark seems more and more unlikely each season.