Although the LA Lakers are out of the 2021 NBA playoffs and we can no longer see LeBron James in action, he did put on some special performances in the regular season. "King James" never fails to put on a show for his fans, and even when he hurt his ankle that put him out for weeks, he drained a three-pointer before leaving for the locker room. That three put his total for the game to 10 points and that ensured his double-digit scoring streak wasn't broken.
5 incredible games by LeBron James in the 2020-21 NBA season
Unfortunately, we have not seen much of LeBron James this season. He injured his ankle and that saw him miss 27 games. He was practically absent for the second half of the season or else we would have seen some more of LeBron James' greatness.
Nevertheless, in the 45 games he played he managed to put on a show in a lot of them and let's take a look at the top five performances by LeBron James this season.
#1 January 1st, at San Antonio
LeBron James kicked off the new year with his first triple-double of the 2021 NBA season against the San Antonio Spurs. It was the second of a two-game mini-series and the LA Lakers won the first game by a 14-point margin. LeBron James dropped 26 points on back-to-back nights and in the second game dropped a triple-double with 10 assists and 11 rebounds. He also had two blocks to cap off his dominant game with a game-high +/- of +18.
Although he shot just 8-22 from the field, he was 3-7 from downtown and made all seven of his free throws. However, the 36% performance doesn't do him justice as seven of his 26 points came in the fourth quarter of the 109-103 victory.
#2 January 21st, at Milwaukee
A blockbuster matchup was scheduled at Fiserv Forum with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo hosting King James. LeBron James did not disappoint in the showdown, recording his first 30-point game of the season. He dropped 34 points on an efficient 13-25 (52%) shooting from the field, including 6-10 from three-point range.
Seeing how close the game was, LeBron James turned on his clutch switch and dropped 12 of 34 points in the fourth quarter. James scored a dagger three-pointer at the end of the shot clock with 1 minute remaining in the game. He also had eight assists, six rebounds, a steal and a block in the 113-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
#3 January 25th, at Cleveland
Just four days after his incredible performance in Milwaukee, LeBron James visited his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers and put on a show for his hometown fans. He dropped a season-high 46 points in 38 minutes en route to winning the game 115-108. James caught fire in the fourth quarter once again and went berserk, outscoring the entire Cavaliers team in the final period.
LeBron James started the game on a great note and had 23 points at halftime. However, he started to get cold in the third quarter and was just 1-6 from the field in that period with two points. James missed the final shot of the third quarter and a Cavaliers executive burst out in excitement and joy which ticked off LeBron.
LeBron James said after the game,
"He’s part of the [Cavaliers] front office group...He was really excited about me missing that shot. A little more extra than I would have liked."
He went off for 21 points in the fourth quarter alone on 9-10 shooting and the entire Cavaliers team had 19 points combined. James ended the game with 46 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks and was the only starter with a positive +/- with +11. LeBron James shot at a ridiculous efficiency of 19-26 (73%) and also had a season-high seven three-pointers in that game on 63% shooting from beyond the arc.
#4 February 8th, vs OKC Thunder
With Anthony Davis missing, a 36-year-old James played nearly 43 minutes of the game against the OKC Thunder at Staples Center. He dropped his 97th career triple-double and led his team to a six-point victory in overtime. James stuffed the stat sheet with 28 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and two blocks. The game was a close one down the stretch, but the LA Lakers took over in overtime and put the Thunder away.
LeBron James shot an efficient 11-22 (50%) from the field and scored 10 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He was the highest +/- of all the starters with a +8.
#5 May 19th, vs Golden State Warriors
Although not as statically staggering as some of his other performances, this game holds incredible value. The play-in tournament game for the seventh spot of the Western Conference against the 2021 scoring champion, Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors held a 13-point lead at halftime and then the LA Lakers took over in the second half to win the game 103-100. LeBron James ended the game with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, including a clutch game-winning three-pointer.
LeBron James hit a dagger go-ahead three over Stephen Curry which put the LA Lakers up by three points. He was poked in the eye by Draymond Green with 2:07 left in the game but made the most important shot of the night. James said after the win,
"After Draymond's finger to the eye, I was literally seeing three rims out there...So I just shot at the middle one. And I was able to, through the grace of the man above, I was able to knock it down."
It was one of the most viewed games of the year in a winner-takes-all game and the King didn't disappoint.