Erik Spoelstra: LeBron James Had a Magic Johnson-Like Performance

by March 02, 2012

LeBron James had an incredible game against the Portland Trailblazers last night, as he was all over the court for the victorious Heat. Head coach Erik Spoelstra thought it was Magic Johnson-esque. From the Miami Herald: “Playing the best basketball in the NBA going into the All-Star break, Miami picked up where it left off on Thursday in Portland with a 107-93 victory against the Trail Blazers. The Heat (28-7) has won nine straight games, all by double-digits , and they did it at the Rose Garden without Chris Bosh, who missed the game to attend his grandmother’s funeral. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade more than picked up the slack, combining to score 71 points. Wade had 22 points in the first half, turning a close game into a bludgeoning in the blink of an eye. ‘We’re just playing basketball at an all-time high as far as us together,’ James said. The outcome was never in doubt but the Heat’s streak of consecutive victories by at least 10 points hung in the balance for a few minutes in the fourth quarter. That’s the mark of a team on a ridiculous winning streak — the only drama to be had is that of margin of victory. Portland cut the Heat’s lead to 10 points with about five minutes to play but James answered with a three-pointer and the Trail Blazers never got any closer. After leading the Eastern Conference All-Stars in points on Sunday, James’ remarkable regular season continued. He finished with 38 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals. With Bosh out, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra evoked the name of Magic Johnson when addressing James before the game, asking the Heat’s versatile star to play multiple positions. James started the game at power forward offensively but played man-to-man defense against Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby. ‘I don’t know of another player who can handle that mentally,’ Spoelstra said. ‘He was able to settle into his game and that settled us.’ It was the sixth time this season James has scored at least 30 points while also recording 10 rebounds and five assists.”