Ahead of Wednesday night’s game between the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks, we look back at one of LeBron’s most memorable games. February 4th, 2009, LeBron lit up the Mecca of Basketball, Madison Square Garden.
The visiting Cavs came in sporting one of the best records in the league behind the play of LeBron. Before the game, there was a certain buzz in the arena. Whenever the leagues best come to the Garden, the fans bring the energy of a playoff game. They’re intense, loud and passionate, and you can feel it while you’re watching.
LeBron came out the gates firing and exuding a nonchalant demeanor that even announcer Mike Breen mentioned. He started the quarter by making a three pointer and throughout the 1st quarter, he continuously kept hitting outside jump shots, including a pull up at the buzzer. He ended up finishing the quarter with 20 points.
What we’ve all learned about LeBron is, when he comes out and is confidently hitting jump shots, no one can guard him. He is already one of the hardest players to guard and when you factor in he was in the midst of his first MVP season and only a youthful 24 years young, there was no stopping his shine.
LeBron finished with one of the best all around games on his resume and one of the best of all time. He mixed his signature aggressive drives, powerful dunks with the finesse of his no look passes and pull up jump shots.
With a few seconds left, LeBron went up and grabbed that last rebound he needed to finish with one of the most impressive stat lines ever. He finished with what we thought was 52 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, a stat line that has never been matched in the history of basketball. After the game, the league credited Ben Wallace with a rebound they gave to LeBron so he finished with 9 rebounds. Still nonetheless, one of the more impressive games ever played.
On another note, I would be naïve to think that Kobe’s performance just two days prior had nothing to do with this performance. Kobe came through the Garden and posted what was then the highest scoring performance in the arena with 61 points. The MVP race was neck and neck at that point and every performance and game mattered. LeBron wouldn’t let the chance go by without making an impact of his own.