LeBron James gave the Miami Heat a taste of what they’ve been missing since he departed as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 113-97 win at the American Airlines arena on Sunday.
Despite having the coolest jerseys on the court (and arguably in the entire league), the Heat had no answer for James, who poured in 51 points on an efficient 61.3 percent shooting from the field. 28 of those points came in the first half.
The Lakers are 2-0 when James scores at least 40 points and makes at least five 3-pointers. He’s done that twice in the last three games.
James also added 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 block to round out his box score.
It was another dominant performance by the King, one that has fans thinking that he might be getting comfortable wearing the purple and gold. If that’s the case, the Lakers are in a lot better shape than they were a few weeks ago, or even in Saturday night’s blowout loss to the Orlando Magic.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also looked like someone continuing to rediscover his form from last season.
In 28 minutes for the Lakers, Caldwell-Pope scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers in five attempts. Over the the last six games, Caldwell-Pope is shooting 42.8 percent from behind the arc on 28 attempts.
With head coach Luke Walton struggling to find any consistent shooting from his wings, KCP could see an increase in playing time sooner rather if this keeps up. If Caldwell-Pope completely returns to form, he could even be inserted back into the starting lineup if that unit keeps struggling.
The Lakers won’t play again until Wednesday, when James will make his return to the Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers again this summer. As far as dress rehearsals for homecomings go, Miami wasn’t bad practice.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.