LeBron James scored his first 50-point game as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers with an outstanding 51-point performance in a victory over the Miami Heat 113-97.

LeBron James
LeBron James throws down a dunk during his 51-point performance in a victory against his former team, the Miami Heat. (Image: AP)

LeBron became the fifth player in NBA history to score 50 or more points for three different franchises. LeBron also locked up his first win against the Miami Heat since 2014. Overall, the Lakers improved to 9-7 and are tied for the seventh-best record in the Western Conference.

Smoking Start

LeBron James got off to a hot start in the first quarter and never looked back. Propelled by an 8 for 10 shooting clip, LeBron scored 19 points in the first frame. The Lakers jumped out to a 13-point lead against the Miami Heat team sporting their new uniforms with colors reminiscent of Miami Vice.

LeBron added another nine points in the second quarter and went into halftime with 26 overall and a 15-point lead.

“It was a special night,” said Lakers head coach Luke Walton. “From the jump ball, he was going, he was in attack mode, he was making shots. When players are as good as LeBron and they’re having a night, it just looks easy for them. It’s not easy, but they make it look easy because they’re that good.”

At the start of the second half, LeBron scored 14 points in the third quarter as the Lakers held off a rally by the Heat.

In the fourth quarter, LeBron only scored nine points as the Lakers closed out the win. The Lakers improved to 9-7. After starting the season 0-3, the Lakers are 9-4.

“He can score with the best of them,” teammate Kyle Kazuma said. “People always talk about his facilitating and pass-first mentality, but he can probably average 40 if he wanted to.”

Since departing the Miami after the 214 NBA Finals, LeBron went 0-4 against the Heat with the Cleveland Cavs. He missed three games due to injuries and the Cavs lost those games for a total record of 0-7.


The Lakers are in the middle of a road trip and played back-to-back games. The road trip started in Orlando on Saturday, but the sluggish Lakers lost 130-117.

Center Nikola Vucevic torched the Lakers for 36 points and the Magic snapped a four-game winning streak by the Lakers. LeBron only scored 22 points in the 13-point loss.

“I spent 33 years of my life on the East Coast,” explained LeBron. “Going to the West Coast, everything changes. Even though it is just three hours, everything has changed for me drastically.”

By the second day of their road trip, LeBron and the Lakers adjusted to the time change and got some sleep.

“When you live on the east side of the country for so long,” said LeBron. “For me, it’s taken me a little while to get adjusted, with my game, moving, the family, everything.”

The Lakers face the Cleveland Cavs on Wednesday night.

LBJ 51

Last Thursday, LeBron exploded for 44 points against the Portland Trailblazers. Late in the fourth quarter against the Blazers, LeBron passed Wilt Chamberlin to move into fifth place on the NBA all-time scoring list.

With a 51-point output against the Heat, LeBron scored 50+ points with three franchises: Lakers, Heat, and Cavs.

Furthermore, LeBron became the fifth player in NBA history to achieve that feat joining Wilt Chamberlin, Jamal Crawford, Bernard King, and Moses Malone.

“I’ve played for three very, very historic franchises in the time that I played,” James told reporters after the game. “Obviously, in Miami we did some historical things. In Cleveland we was able to do some historical.”

“It’s just playing with greatness,” added teammate Lonzo Ball. “Tonight, he took the game over.”

LeBron had 48 points late in the game when he was double-teamed with the shot clock winding down. LeBron, a couple feet behind the three-point arc, connected on a 32-foot jumper with 16 seconds remaining to finish the night with 51 points.