LeBron James got the gift he wanted for Christmas – Kobe Bryant. Lebron and the Miami Heat trounced Kobe and his LA Lakers, 96-80, on Christmas Day at the Staples Center, Los Angeles. The game was overly hyped because of the Heat’s Big Three playing against the NBA’s defending champion for the first time in the season.
LeBron was all over the court with his 31st career triple double – 27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists – to win his personal battle with Kobe. Kobe managed only 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in a losing effort. King James hit a season high 5-of-6 three pointers in toying the Lakers defense.
Kobe was the focused of the Heat’s defense all throughout of the game. Dwyane Wade made life miserable for the Laker’s MVP with his defensive game. James also had his moments guarding Kobe. The Heat clamped down on the Lakers with its defense forcing 12 turnovers on a 40.5% field goal.
LeBron and Kobe had words for each other in the closing minutes of the game. But in the end, it was LeBron who won again in front of 18,997 Laker fans. James and his former Cavaliers team won in last year’s Christmas game against the Lakers.
King James was in total control of the game as he patiently set plays for teammates, crashing the board for rebounds, disrupting Lakers plays, and picking up some steals. He outplayed the Black Mamba on Christmas Day with the world watching them.
Chris Bosh had 24 points and 13 rebounds to dominate the middle for the Heat. Wade added 18 points and six assists despite a nagging sore knee. Reserve pointguard Mario Chalmers contributed 13 points to the Heat’s 14th win in 15 games. According to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, this is one of their best offensive and poise game of the season. The Heat was in chaos at the start of the season after trying to figure out their rhythm with the new team and superstars.
This win gave the Heat a reason to celebrate and for other teams to be wary of. As long as Lebron, Bosh, and Wade are in sync offensively and defensively, the Heat is hard to beat. However, the season is still young and teams try to pick their games up. Expect everyone to gang up on the Heat and their Big Three.
Kobe and Co. are expected to pour out their frustrations on their next game against the San Antonio Spurs on December 28. The league-leading Spurs is a tough nut to crack.
James got what he wanted for Christmas Day.
Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images Video courtesy of NBA.com