Returning home to face the Cavaliers for the first time since Nov. 21, 2018, LeBron James put on a show and led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-108 win.
It was the first time in James' career that the Cleveland team had a .500 record or better while hosting him, and that helped them lead the Lakers 89-87 after three quarters.
However, James' fourth-quarter takeover meant that the Lakers improved to a league-best 14-4 while extending their perfect road record to 10-0.
Playing 38 minutes, he finished with 46 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks with a game-high plus-minus of +11. Looking back at his virtuoso performance in Cleveland, here are four key stats to know:
21: James' 4th Q points vs. Cavaliers
Down by two headling into the final 12 minutes, the Lakers' unbeaten road record was on the line but James wasn't ready to let them take the loss.
He scored 21 points in the final period on near perfect shooting - 9-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from deep, outscoring the hosts by two points.
Logo LeBron 🔭 pic.twitter.com/JMqcVX5yqx- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 26, 2021
That shot shouldn't be possible, @KingJames.- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 26, 2021
(📺: @SpectrumSN) pic.twitter.com/lrVGJb4D04
That's not all, he also recorded two assists, two assists, and two blocks in the final period. Thus, having a hand in 25 of the team's 28 fourth-quarter points.
These kinds of late-game takeovers are nothing new for the Lakers. James has been doing this quite often this season. His total of 110 fourth-quarter points is second-best in the league, only two shy of Kevin Durant's league-leading tally.
On an earlier four-game road trip for the Lakers, to San Antonio and Memphis, his play in the fourth was critical to the Lakers winning those games. Read more about that here.
41.2%: LeBron's career-best 3-point %
After knocking down seven 3-pointers in 11 attempts, James improves his 3-point shooting percentage for the season to 41.2% through 18 games.
That's a career-high for James, marginally better than his 40.6% efficiency from long distance during the 2012-13 season when he was making 1.4 3s per game - nearly half of what he has been knocking down this season at 2.7.
"Always feel great to get a win, especially in purple and gold," James said postgame.
LeBron James joins @LakersReporter post-game to discuss his dominant return to Cleveland. He finished with 46 PTS, 8 REB, and 6 AST. pic.twitter.com/IxAgYmiRHF- Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 26, 2021
The seven 3-pointers are a season-high and just one of James' career-high of eight.
"Pretty awesome," Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said postgame on James performance. "The shot-making was ridiculous. One of those nights for the ages for him."
36 years, 26 days: James becomes oldest Laker to score 40+ since Kobe
Att 36 years and 26 days, James becomes the oldest Lakers to score 40 or more points since Kobe Bryant erupted for 60 in his career finale in 2016.
LeBron James is the oldest Laker with a 40-point game since Kobe Bryant scored 60 in his final career game. pic.twitter.com/CTcLQZe5an- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 26, 2021
James' 46 points at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is tied with Kareem Abdul Jabbar's 46-point performance on Feb. 6 in 1986 for the fourth-highest points total by a player aged 36 or more.
+13.0: LBJ's plus-minus on the road
With this win, the Lakers became the sixth team in NBA history to start the season with a 10-0 road record.
And James has got a lot to do with it. His numbers see an appreciable rise when he's on the road as compared to when he plays at the Staples Center.
Take a look at the comparison:
His plus-minus of +13.0 on the road leads the league among players to have played at least five games on the road while averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
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