Memphis forward Mike Miller was not even a speed bump for LeBron James.
Last night the FedEx Forum reminded me of the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron. Just like in high school, LeBron James was driving to the basket at will, defenses helpless to stop him. It was a good thing too, because the Grizzles were shooting the lights out of the place.
First the numbers, the Cavs won 132-124 in OT. His highness scored 51 points, (a season high and the 4th 50+ point game in his career) had 9 assists and 8 boards. Once again LeBron came up huge down the stretch, scoring 25 in the 4th and OT. He finished 18 for 28 including 6 of 12 from triple territory. His help came from Gibson who had 18, Varejao (11), Gooden (12), and Z (14).
Defensively the Cavs couldn’t stop Rudy Gay, who finished with 30 points and fouled out in the OT. The Cavs actually couldn’t stop any of the Grizzlies when they stepped behind the arc, as Memphis shot 50% (15 of 30) from deep. Juan Carlos Navarro drilled the tying 3 pointer in regulation, and finished with 6 triples on 10 attempts. Not bad for a rookie huh?
I have two questions about this game- the first is why in the world LeBron went with that ridiculous shot as time expired in the 4th? He had been driving to the basket all quarter, getting and 1 opportunities nearly every time. Take it to the hole there and you will either get hacked (quite likely) needing only 1 free throw to win it, or they will be scared to foul and you can drive to the basket easily.
The second question- Why did Drew Gooden disappear in the second half? He was replaced with 5:18 left in the third period, and never entered the game again. Drew was having a great game, with 12 points and 11 boards in three quarters. He was playing with energy and helping the team win. He was rewarded by having a seat attached to his butt and planted next to Larry Hughes. Gooden played 25 minutes. Andy Varejao played 40. I guess the good news is that the starters should still be rested when they get to San Antonio on Thursday.