LeBron sets personal best with 31 first-half points in Lakers playoff game
by: GREG BEACHAM, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James set a personal-best 31 points in the first half of Game 4 of Monday night’s Western Conference Finals as his Los Angeles Lakers tried to avoid playoff elimination.
In his NBA-record 282nd career playoff game, James, 38, dropped 21 points in a dynamic first quarter. The all-time leading 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 13 shots and had four clear 3-pointers. It was the most successful half of his playoff career, which began in 2003 and included four NBA championships.
James added four rebounds and four assists, and he also picked up a technical foul after a physical trade with Aaron Gordon when the two got locked up on the Lakers side.
James had already struggled from range in the series, going 3 for 19 in the first three games. He repaired his shot in Game 4 – and he even got credit for a first-quarter 3-pointer when his lob pass to Rui Hachimura accidentally landed in the basket.
James already had the highest scoring average in NBA history in elimination games (33.5 points per game) of any player with at least 10 such appearances.
The Lakers led 73-58 at halftime.
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