LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will be playing at Madison Square Garden for the first time on Thursday. Needless to say, they're looking forward to it.
Said Dwyane Wade on Monday: "It is no secret that besides the AmericanAirlines Arena [Madison Square Garden] is my favorite place to play. I look forward to how this team is going to respond in a very hostile environment with the lights as bright as they can be."
Both Wade and James have responded well to the bright lights of New York throughout the careers. Granted, this might have more to do with the Knicks teams they played against than the environment, but still, it got me thinking. What are the top 3 performances by Wade and James at MSG. A quick call to Elias (thanks guys) provided the answers.
WADE'S BEST AT MSG
3. 11 April 2010: 32 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Wade started the game 1 of 7 in the first quarter before heating up. He finished the game 11 of 17 in the final three quarters. Heat won 111-98. NOTE: Earl Barron started at center for the Knicks and finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds against his old team.
2. 27 January 2011: 34 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists
The migraine game...Wade wore tinted glasses...You remember. It was the Heat's second game at MSG with the Big 3 and the Knicks were ready. Despite his lingering migraine, Wade scored 34 points, going 14 of 22 from the field. The Heat led by nine points entering the fourth quarter but was outscored 29-15 in the final period. Mario Chalmers missed a potential game-tying wide open three-pointer with in the final moments. Knicks 93, Heat 88. NOTE: Ronny Turiaf played for the Knicks.
1. 26 January 2007: 37 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists
Dwyane Wade's most prolific game at MSG came in a blowout for the Knicks back during the Shaq Era. Led by an an amazing 52-point effort by Jamal Crawford, New York defeated the Heat 116-96. Wade had 14 points in the first and fourth quarters.
LEBRON'S BEST AT MSG
3. 5 April 2006: 36 points, 7 assists, 2 rebounds
LeBron was outdueled by Jamal Crawford in this classic game at MSG. James finished with 36 points but Crawford had 37. The Cavaliers trailed the Knicks 74-57 entering the fourth quarter before James set MSG on fire. He scored 21 points in the final period, going 7 of 10 from the floor and 3 of 4 from three-point range. James tied the game with layup with 27 seconds left but Crawford nailed a 17-foot fadeaway with six seconds on the clock for the win. NOTE: Eddy Curry started for the Knicks, going 6 of 8 from the field for 16 points but played less than six minutes in the second half. He watched the fourth quarter from the bench.
2. 5 March 2008: 50 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds
LeBron was in the zone on this night, going 7 of 13 from three-point range. He started slowly with just two points in the first quarter but exploded for 18 points in the second period. He had 15 points in both the third and fourth quarters. That's right: 48 points in 36 minutes.
1. 4 Feb. 2009: 52 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds
LeBron was one one rebound shy of a triple-double against the Knicks in this 107-102 victory for the Cavs. With 20 points in the first quarter, LeBron was off to a historic pace from the beginning. And here's a video of that magical night: