There were many excellent candidates for SCIC’s Performance of the Week award this week.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Los Angeles Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant are the three best players in the league and will likely be in the running for this award every single week.
This week, there was no one who deserved the honor as much as LeBron James.
On Sunday evening, James participated in the All-Star Game. James scored 22 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out seven assists and recorded three steals, helping the Eastern Conference All-Stars defeat the Western Conference All-Stars 163-155.
James returned to the court with his Miami Heat teammates on Tuesday night when the Heat headed to Dallas to take on the Mavericks in a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals, which the Mavericks won in six games.
The Mavericks took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. After the Heat took a one-point lead, 92-91 on a Dwyane Wade bucket, Vince Carter connected on a three-pointer and was fouled by Ray Allen. Carter made the free throw to give the Mavericks a 95-92 lead with 7:47 to go. That’s when James took over. James hit back-to-back three-pointers. After another Heat stop, James got to the basket and scored again to push the lead to five. James hit a pair of free throws in between two Chris Andersen buckets and the Heat had an 11-point lead with just 3:20 to play. All in all, it was a 14-0 run for the Heat and James scored 10 of those points.
On the night, he scored a season-high 42 points on 16-of-23 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out six assists and had two steals.
Two nights later, the Heat hit the road for another showdown. This time, it was a rematch of the 2012 Finals, which the Heat won in five games, when they traveled to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder. The Thunder embarrassed the Heat in a 112-95 victory on January 29.
James, obviously looking to prove a point, attacked the Thunder defense and scored 10 points in the first 3:11, helping the Heat build a 34-17 lead at the end of the quarter. The Thunder cut the lead to seven by the half, but the Heat seemingly had an answer every time the Thunder cut the lead to single digits.
James left the game bloodied after being his in the face by Serge Ibaka with 5:50 to go, but the damage was done.
James finished with 33 points on 15-of-22 shooting, grabbed seven rebounds, recorded four steals and dished out three assists.
Despite the injury, James is expected to play Sunday afternoon when the Heat host the Chicago Bulls.
On the season, the four-time MVP is averaging 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.