Lakers’ LeBron James scores 50 points in win over Wizards, takes over as NBA’s leading scorer this season

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Last weekend, LeBron James put together one of his best games in years, scoring 56 points in a national TV showcase against the Golden State Warriors. The lights weren’t quite as bright on Friday night for the Los Angeles Lakers‘ matchup with the lowly Washington Wizards, but LeBron’s performance was just as remarkable. 

For the second time in seven days, LeBron hit the half-century mark, finishing with 50 points, seven rebounds and six assists on a highly efficient 18 of 25 from the field. In the process he led the Lakers to a much needed win, 122-109. He also became the first player in NBA history to have multiple 50-point games after turning 35 years old, and joined Michael Jordan as the only players with multiple 50-point games in three different decades. 

With the Lakers trailing by seven points at halftime, LeBron decided to take things into his own hands. Less than a minute into the third quarter he went to the free throw line to shoot a technical free throw, and once he saw the ball go in the hoop he could not miss. He scored 16 points in the first six minutes of the second half, including 12 straight for the Lakers at one point to give them a 74-71 lead. They would not trail the rest of the way. 

The Wizards had no answer as LeBron poured in bucket after bucket, but the truth is that no player or team can guard him when he gets into the zone he was in during the second half on Friday. It didn’t matter how close the defenders were, or where he was on the floor, he simply wasn’t missing. 

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LeBron’s shot chart vs. the Wizards
NBA.com/Stats

What are you even supposed to do with this? 

Thanks to these two 50-point games, LeBron is now averaging 29.7 points per game, which would give him his best scoring season since 2010, when he was still in his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. What’s more, he’s now moved ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid for the league lead in scoring. 

All of a sudden he has a real chance to win his first scoring title since 2008. If he manages to pull off that feat it would make him by far the oldest scoring champion in NBA history. The current record is held by Jordan, who won the 1998 scoring title at 34 years old. 

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