LeBron James set a personal record with 31 points in the first half of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night while his Los Angeles Lakers attempted to avoid playoff elimination.
In his NBA-record 282nd career playoff game, the 38-year-old James dropped 21 points in a dynamic first quarter. The top scorer in NBA history added 10 more in the second while playing nearly the entire half of this do-or-die game against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets, who lead the series 3-0.
James made 11 of his 13 shots and hit four 3-pointers without a miss. It was the highest-scoring playoff half of his career, which began in 2003 and has included four NBA championships.
James added four rebounds and four assists, and he also got a technical foul after a physical exchange with Aaron Gordon when the two got locked up on the Lakers’ end of the court.
James had struggled from distance previously in the series, going 3 for 19 in the first three games. He fixed his shot in Game 4 — and he even got credit for a 3-pointer in the first quarter when his lob pass to Rui Hachimura accidentally went in the basket.
James already had the highest scoring average in NBA history in elimination games (33.5 points per game) among all players with at least 10 such appearances.
The Lakers led 73-58 at halftime.
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