LeBron James became the youngest member of the 29,000-point club early in Friday night’s 130-122 victory over the Washington Wizards and played like he was trying to reach 30,000 in the same game. Who can blame him?
James may have been motivated by Bradley Beal and John Wall chirping about the Cavs losing the No. 1 seed in the East last season so they could duck a Wizards team that couldn’t breach the Conference Finals. Wait, huh?
“I think they understand what we can bring to the table. If you look at last year, people might say they did or didn’t, but I think they didn’t want the No. 1 seed for a reason because we would have played them in the second round,” Wall told Rachel Nichols on Friday’s episode of ESPN’s The Jump.
Foot meet mouth. Beal and Wall have made it a habit of bumping their gums, but Friday night King James kindly showed the duo their proper seats in the NBA hierarchy by showing no mercy . By night’s end, he’d scored 57 points on 23-of-34 shooting, including a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line, 11 rebounds and seven assists. James took advantage of every area on the court.
57/11/7/3/2 in 43 minutes for LeBron. pic.twitter.com/kurhvohWLL
— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) November 4, 2017
He was a man possessed, especially when he found himself in a mismatch against the Wizards’ Wall in a post-up situation.
Lebron backed Wall down like Barkley used to do folks. Wall sitting in Dulles Airport right now pic.twitter.com/Hd0Kgao0iD
— 81 Olives (@TerrellChuggs) November 4, 2017
The downside for James is that the Cavs’ porous defense still allowed the Wizards to score 122 points on 53 percent shooting. James going Full Chamberlain and bailing Cleveland out with 50 points every night isn’t a reliable long-term solution for what woes his squad, but for one night, it stopped the bleeding.