At this point, they are the two leading candidates for league MVP. They are the NBA's top scorers, top names (with Kobe Bryant, perhaps), good friends, and oh yeah, Olympic teammates. There was no way a game in March could live up to hype like this.
Except it did.
In the end, LeBron's Cavs were just a little too much, winning 107-100, but this was certainly the best game of the year. The game itself was like a two-hour highlight reel. (In fact, Wade and James accounted for four of Sports Center's top ten clips of the day.)
The game was so good, everyone forgot about the Band-Wades the NBA banned this week.
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The stat lines read like the NYSE before everything went south. LeBron had 42 points, eight rebounds, four assists, a steal, and one amazing blocked shot. Not to be outdone, D-Wade had 41 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, seven steals, and an even more amazing block.
Watching these guys is like watching the great battles of another era: Jordan versus Isiah, Magic versus Bird. Last night was LeBron's seventh 40-point game of the year. The only player with more? Yep, Sobe's own D-Wade, with eight. The next most is Dirk Nowitzki, with four.
And Wade and James have faced off 18 times since being drafted four picks apart in 2003 (LeBron was the first pick, D-Wade the fifth). In those 18 games, both players have averaged at least 27 points, five rebounds, and six and a half assists per game. Both have exactly four 40-point games. And with last night's win, the series is split down the middle, 9-9.
It's a good time to be a basketball fan.