LeBron James, SF MIA: A
Anyone doubting LeBron James' place as the NBA's best active player clearly wasn't watching his dissection of Houston on Wednesday.
James finished with 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks against Houston. Ho-hum.
The extent to which James dominated on Wednesday night was astounding. In his first 23 minutes, James registered 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting, five rebounds, four assists, three made three-pointers and a steal.
He appeared content to get his passing game going early in the first quarter, but he quickly switched into world-beater mode. Once he did, the Rockets had no answer for James defensively.
When Chandler Parsons guarded him on the perimeter, James stepped back and drained long two-point jumpers. When James Harden tried to defend him in the post, James backed him down with ease.
Despite a late comeback bid by Houston, there was no stopping James this night.
Chandler Parsons, SF HOU: B-
Chandler Parsons played about as well as Houston could have hoped, considering he was matched up against the league's reigning MVP. These aren't charity grades, though.
Parsons was abused defensively by LeBron James in the first quarter, and it never got much better for the Rockets small forward.
Two quick buckets at the beginning of the second began to turn it around for Parsons. He scored eight points in the first five minutes of the second quarter, then hit a three-pointer later in the quarter after James Harden fed him off a double-team.
Like Harden, Parsons' grade is diminished due to the fact that he stood little chance defensively against LeBron James. Parsons played about as well as Houston could ask against LeBron, but he found himself time after time on the wrong end of a James basket.