LeBron Youngest Ever to 29,000 Points; Cavs End Four-Game Slide
"Pretty much feels like everything you throw up is going in," James said when asked about his performance. "And so, every shot that I took it feels like it was going in, even when they were highly contested. I just had my eyes on the target, trying to stay as disciplined. As I've grown as a basketball player, staying disciplined with my shot, disciplined with my balance, and every shot that I took it feels like it was going in."
At 32 years, 308 days, James became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 29,000 career points, according to ESPN Stats & Information, finishing the night with 29,049. It was James' 11th career 50-point game, tying him with Allen Iverson for the sixth-most in NBA history, and his first since he had a career-high 61 against the then-Charlotte Bobcats on March 3, 2014.
"When he plays like that -- I mean, every night he's dominant -- but that right there shows what everyone talks about," said Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade, who also was a teammate with James on the Miami Heat when he scored 61. "He's the best player in the game -- he's the best player in the world. When he's in that kind of rhythm, that kind of mindset, no one on the court can stop him.
"He knew how important this game was for us, after losing four in a row. He put us on his back, and everyone chipped in."
James played 43 out of a possible 48 minutes, including the entire second half, to keep Washington at bay.
"It came to the end of the third quarter and he came to the bench and [I] said, 'Do you need a quick one?' And he said, 'No,'" Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "We knew he was feeling good. He carried us."
James, who is in his 15th season, joins Kobe Bryant as the only players to score 50 points in a game in their 15th season or later over the past 50 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Bryant scored 60 in his final career game in his 20th season.