On Friday, LeBron James heaved a 33-foot shot through the net to beat the buzzer and headed into halftime with 25 points under his belt. Turns out, he was just getting warmed up. Then he scored 16 points in less than three minutes to begin the third quarter, on his way to 55 for the night (one shy of his career high). James put on one of the most tremendous offensive displays of his career. In the spurt even perhaps outranking his wondrous Game 5 performance in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. This didn’t have the same value but certainly an equal awe factor. On a micro level, he put in an amazing 16 points in the first 2:50 of the second half, which combined with two long-range 3-pointers in the final 23 seconds of the first half made for what was probably the hottest three-minute shooting stretch of James’ career. He made eight consecutive shots, six of them 3-pointers and all of those from several feet behind the line. He kept shooting from farther and farther away, hoisting his well-known “heat-check” jumpers, only to find more fire. Overall, he hit on a career-high eight 3-pointers, which tied a franchise record held by Danny Ferry and Wesley Person. “I just got in a zone; I just kept on going at it, man,” James said. “Every shot I made, we needed it. That stretch is probably top two for me, this performance and in the Palace in Game 5.” James scored his previous season high of 52 points at New York on Feb. 4. In both games LeBron had at least 9 assists to go with his 50+ points. His career high of 56 came at Toronto on March 20, 2005. See the highlights from the game here and here.
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