LeBron James scored 51 points against his former club and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 113-97 today.
James had 19 points in the first quarter to set the tone, the Lakers led by as many as 21 and never trailed.
The 51 points were a season high for James, and the most he's scored against Miami; he had 47 against the Heat twice.
His last shot was a 32-footer with 16 seconds left, capping the 13th 50-point game of his career — including playoffs — and he threw the ball skyward at midcourt when time expired.
It was James' first time winning against Miami since he left the Heat after the 2014 NBA Finals.
He was 0-4 when facing the Heat since; his teams were 0-7, when including the three Cleveland-Miami games that he sat out for various reasons.
Wayne Ellington scored 19 points for Miami (6-10), which has dropped four straight home games and is off to its second-worst start in the last 12 years.
The Heat were 5-11 at this point of the 2016-17 season, the only other time they've been worse after 16 games in that span.
Josh Richardson scored 17 points before getting ejected in the fourth quarter after throwing one of his sneakers about 15 rows deep into the crowd, while he was arguing about what he thought should have been a foul call that didn't come his way.
Tyler Johnson also had 17 points for the Heat, while Rodney McGruder added 14.
Goran Dragic missed the game for Miami because of a right knee problem, one that will be further evaluated tomorrow.
Dwyane Wade missed his seventh consecutive game for the Heat because of the birth of his and wife Gabrielle Union-Wade's daughter; it's possible that Wade returns to the Heat this week.
Miami hasn't forgotten James, obviously — he still gets loud cheers when introduced in his former home arena — but just in case anyone in attendance needed a reminder of what's in his skillset, he put on a show.
He made eight of his first nine shots and had the whole arsenal working; dunks in transition, stepback three-pointers, turnarounds from the baseline.
But the biggest shot for the Lakers might have come from Brandon Ingram with 3:46 left.
Miami had clawed within eight and the shot clock was about to expire on the Lakers, but Ingram connected on a long jumper from the left wing to make it 104-94.
From there, the only drama was whether James would get 50. And he did.