LeBron James Has Best Night of Season as Heat Defeat Lakers

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIJanuary 18, 2013

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 04:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a game against the Chicago Bulls at AmericanAirlines Arena on January 4, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night by a score of 99-90. 

The Heat continue to look like the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, as their record has climbed to 26-12. They currently hold the top spot in the East, and will hope to keep that spot once the playoffs arrive.

The Lakers struggled to keep control of the ball in the first half, recording a stunning 16 turnovers in just 24 minutes. They finished with 20 in the game. 

Kobe Bryant struggled against Miami, shooting only 3-of-17 from the field through the first three quarters. However, he was able to pick it back up in the fourth, shooting 5-of-8 and scoring 13 of his 22 points.

Dwyane Wade celebrated his 31st birthday with a big game of his own. He had 27 points on the night, along with five assists, four rebounds, and two steals.

But the biggest story of the night was LeBron James.

James had arguably his best night of the season. He exploded for 39 points on the night, a season-high mark for him. He played nearly the entire game, playing in 42 of the 48 minutes.  He shot a very impressive 68 percent from the field, rarely missing. Combined with Wade, they were able to score 66 of the team's 99 points.

He also did more than just score. He somehow was still able to play unselfishly, despite scoring nearly 40 points. He found open players all night long, and was able to record eight assists. He also had seven rebounds and three steals on the night.

This game helped put James back on top of the MVP race for this season. His ability to not only score, but excel in nearly all aspects of the game proves that he is the best player in the league.

The player who was always considered a scorer above everything else has continued to refine the way he plays the game. He has learned to take fewer bad shots, and his field goal percentage of 55 is the highest he has had in his entire career.

Many fans will continue to hate LeBron, but the truth is that there is no one in the league more dominant than him at this moment in time. If he continues to play at this high level, he will easily be bringing in his fourth MVP award of his career.