It's probably not a good idea to openly mock LeBron James just minutes before a game. The Orlando Magic learned the lesson the hard way on Thursday night as LeBron erupted for 51 points after the Magic played some head games just before tip-off at Amway Center. Dwight Howard mimicked LeBron's talcum powder routine and the Magic gathered for a "team photo," both pages of LeBron's playbook.
All LeBron did was come out firing, putting up 21 in the first quarter while hitting his first 11 shots of the game. For the first 24 minutes it was the LeBron show in Orlando and the Magic were powerless to stop it. By halftime, LeBron had 29 points and the Heat led the Magic 55-45.
When all was said and done LeBron got the last laugh. His 51 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists helped the Heat hang-on down the stretch in a 104-100 win. With Dwyane Wade slowed by a back injury suffered in the third quarter, the Heat needed LeBron to step up, and he did in a big way.
Dwight Howard finished with his typical double-double -- 17 points and 16 rebounds -- but teasing LeBron before the game may not have been his best idea.