Overall Game Grade: A-
LeBron James is held to a higher standard than pretty much anyone else in the league, and with good reason. Nowadays, we look at a 27-point, seven-rebound, six-assist outing and think it was just another day at the office for him. This was far from a dominant LeBron outing (relatively speaking, of course). Still, it's hard to ignore his obvious overall impact on this contest. He really put Atlanta on the ropes early in the fourth, and the Hawks never recovered.
Nice first quarter for James, as he scored six points on five shot attempts and dished out a couple of assists. James also beat the buzzer with a layup to end the period. He did miss a couple of rotations that led to open threes for Atlanta, but LeBron is just getting warmed up.
For some reason, James was late on a lot of rotations in the first two quarters, and it resulted in some wide open threes for Atlanta. Still, he had 10 points in the second, including a strong tomahawk flush off of an offensive rebound. He also got a little bit of luck when he fired a pass up to Chalmers that would have went out of bounds if it hadn't ricocheted off the ref and back into play for a Miami bucket. But hey, it works
Somewhat of a mediocre quarter for LeBron, he was a little careless with the basketball and only made one bucket. Not only that, but he missed a dunk at the very end of the period and got bailed out on a foul with what looked like a poor call. His defense was a bit better.
LeBron exploded early on in the fourth, rising all the way above the rim to throw down an alley-oop pass from Norris Cole. He got the Heat out and running in transition and helped his team build a double-digit lead early on. He also played some really nice defense on Josh Smith.