LeBron James has done it again. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has been pretty quiet (by his standards) in recent games, with him putting in a routine 20-30 point performance. We were bound to get another statement game from him in the next few days, especially with the media coverage around him and his team heating up again.
Well, we had this statement game from LeBron James, and it was one hell of a performance. Against the Golden State Warriors in a pivotal regular season game, the Lakers star flexed his muscles with 56 points and 10 rebounds. It’s the kind of performance that can easily be the best game of any other player’s career.
For LeBron, however, it’s another blow on his long list of statement plays. Let’s see where his 56-point outburst against the Warriors sits on his all-time list.
5 Greatest LeBron Statement Games Of All Time, Ranked
5. March 5, 2021 vs. Warriors (56 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 19-31 FG)
Unsurprisingly, this vintage LeBron performance ranks below many of LeBron’s best statement plays of all time. It’s not because his performance here was lacking, far from it. The Lakers needed every point LeBron scored for them, and he did it in a great way. After lamenting the fact that he is not respected as a scorer, LeBron has proven himself to be one of the greatest bucket-getters in history.
The knock on this game, however, is the fact that it happened in the regular season. Yes, it was against the new Golden State Warriors, which are one of the best teams in the league. Yes, he is 37 years old when he did that. However, the stakes are pretty low in this game, especially compared to some high-intensity playoff matches we’ll see later.
The King is now the 4th player to score 50 points after the age of 37. Lots of buckets in this short list 🙌
Michael Jordan pic.twitter.com/RcQ1NHKNDU
—ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 6, 2022
4. 2018 NBA Finals Game 1 vs. Warriors (51 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists)
The 2018 NBA Finals is best known for JR Smith’s unfortunate gaffe and LeBron’s subsequent reaction to it. However, lost in all this meme sauce is the fact that LeBron had one of the best individual performances in Finals history in this game.
With only Kevin Love as a sidekick, LeBron has taken the heavy lifting on his broad shoulders. A 50-point near-triple double nearly stole Game 1 from the Warriors, until Smith inexplicably overlooked the score and assumed they were leading, sending the game into overtime. The Cavs would lose the series and LeBron would move to the Lakers in the offseason.
3. 2007 Eastern Conference Finals Game 5 vs. Pistons (48 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists)
Young LeBron James was a completely different beast than the Lakers LeBron we see today. Back then, James was a physical freak, an almost unstoppable force of nature who can travel to his places at will. He was a nightmare to defend back then, but in a completely different way than we see today.
His performance in Game 5 against the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals is a prime example of his excellence. Against a strong Detroit defense, James looked superhuman at times, with no one able to touch him. He would finish the game in incredible fashion, scoring the final 25 points as the Cavs took a 3-2 series lead.
2. 2016 NBA Finals Game 7 vs. Warriors (27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists)
The 2016 NBA Finals remains LeBron’s greatest masterpiece. Despite winning titles in Miami and Los Angeles, this 3-1 comeback will always be the game fans will use as the best argument for LeBron’s title as the GOAT. The last three games in this series were all statement games for James.
It says a lot that his iconic Game 7 performance (with The Block and all) isn’t even the best individual performance. However, the declaration of winning this game and this series will forever resonate with every fan who watched this moment.
1. 2016 NBA Finals Game 5 vs. Warriors (41 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, 3 assists)
James has always been a freak when it comes to elimination games. The Los Angeles Lakers star shone brightest when he and his team had their backs against the wall. Facing a raucous Golden State Warriors crowd in Game 5 of the 2016 Finals, it was the defining moment for James.
And boy, did he deliver. His 41-point double-double performance almost set the tone for the next two games of the comeback attempt. LeBron James released a stark statement with this performance: that if you wanted to finish off the king, you better make sure you hit him with your best shot.