LeBron’s 3-Point Barrage Against ‘Cats Speaks Loudest Of All

VIDEO: LeBron James was simply on fire from downtown vs. Charlotte

Somewhere in the avalanche of numbers that made Monday night in Miami forever, a moment so historic for the 250,000 people inside American Airlines Arena to watch LeBron James hit 61 without an asterisk, or at least the 250,000 who years from now will be claiming they were there, is the part about how it wasn’t just a moment.

Eight three-pointers in a game, tying a career high originally set in February 2009, yes, that was atypical. But there is years of evidence of James as a decent threat behind the arc, even if few noticed because he was busy being so LeBron at getting to the rim, defending, seeing the court better than most point guards and rebounding. You know, everything else.

Plus, he’s on a team with other well-known 3-point shooters. Ray Allen is an all-timer from that range and Mario Chalmers is technically the team leader in 3-point percentage (39.0). Shane Battier was sixth in the league in 3-point percentage (43.0) last season, while Allen was tied for 15th (41.9 pct), Mike Miller was tied for 17th (41.7 pct) and Chalmers was 25th (40.9 pct). There is also James’ fraction of regression (40.6 pct in 2012-13 to 38.4 pct this season) from deep. It is one of the few times in his life, and not just on the court, that James does not have a commanding presence.

He has built a respectable 3-point game, though, when overpowering the world when an unfair combination of speed and size would have been enough to rule the world. Defenses try – OK, hope and pray – that he takes aim from the arc, but only because it beats the alternative of James doing the locomotive thing to the basket.

In his first eight seasons, seven in Cleveland and the inaugural campaign in Miami, James broke 35 percent once, 2004-05 with the Cavaliers. He was mostly in the low-30s, with the attempts per game going up even while the success rate did not.

In his last three seasons: 36.2 percent (2011-12), 40.6 (2012-13) and 38.4 (2013-14). He has become more selective, with 3.3 attempts a game during the career-high season compared to the run of 4.7 or more four times in five campaigns in some of those times in the low-30s.

Monday night, it was eight makes in10 tries and one of his Bobcats victims, coach Steve Clifford, saying: “If he’s going to step behind from that length and score, it’s over.”

Simultaneously, LeBron’s 61 points and his tying a career high for 3-pointers was both a singular moment … and a big-picture message.

VIDEO: GameTime’s crew breaks down LeBron’s monster game


  1. okc2014 says:

    Okay. Let this be the last article about this subject. Enough already!

  2. Jokes Aside says:

    Where is the defense? lol. No surprise he got 61. Nice accomplishment. At the end of the day you gotta look forward to competing for the trophy. Looking forward to seeing Heat vs my Thunder in the Finals lol.

    • Witness says:

      Please. You and Dominique Wilkins both just hatin. THERE WAS GOOD DEFENSE IN ALMOST EVERY SINGLE SHOT. Sorry. Even some double and triple teams. If yall cant “see” that, then just blind hatin.

  3. Kome says:

    Kobe needs refs help for 61. 20-20 free throws.
    Needs help to get 81/ 18-20 free throws. whole raptors team got 27 free throws.

    LBJ got 61 and ft was 9-12. No help from ref, respect true 61.

    • Witness says:

      Yep and more efficient shooting too, of course to be expected vs the king of all shotjackin ballhogs KB lol

  4. RingSSSSS says:

    Excuse me, but ist nba.com Lbj’s new personal homepage? It’s just simply ridiculous the hype around him…Carmelo scored 62 points against Charlotte, so from Heaters view the guy from NYC is way much better than the guy from Akron. So what?

  5. ?????? says:

    Not only did he make 8 threes, but – if I’m not mistaken – he didn’t have a single dunk in the entire game!

  6. Beeesh says:

    Lebron’s 61 pts isn’t the hot topic, haters. Its his full game. To put it in perspective, Kobe attempted 46 shots to get 81 pts. thats 13 more shots, potentially 26 more pts. Lebron only attempted 33 shots. If he shot 15 more, he would have got 81 pts. So don’t hate. The man played out of his mind. 80% from 3’s. 67% overall from the field. Respect Greatness!

  7. standard says:

    wow nobody in NBA history has scored 61 points before
    OMG i think lebron is jesus.

    Jesus christ!

  8. NBA IQ says:

    He scored 61 on the bobcats thats a nobody anyone superstar could score 61 on the Bobcats. stop freaking out KD or Kobe could drop 65 or 70 on the bobcats