When Did LeBron James Peak? He Says He's There Right Now

Tom Roddy

LeBron James fired in a game-high 39 points on Wednesday, carrying the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 113-108 win over the Denver Nuggets, which prompted a surprise claim.

Despite being in his 15th season in the NBA, and turning 34 this year, James thinks he is playing better than he has ever done. "Probably an all-time high,” he told ESPN.

"Just because of my body, my mind, the way I go out and approach the game. And then, just the grace of God, giving me the ability to do this. I'm blessed, and I never take it for granted."

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Nine of his 39 at the Pepsi Center in Denver came in the final 1:41, including a fadeaway jumper from the left corner with Wilson Chandler draped all over him with 9.5 seconds left.

That made the margin five and enabled Cleveland to start a six-game road trip by moving one-and-a-half games ahead of Indiana in the Central Division.

LeBron James

LeBron James at Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 18. Kevork Djansezian/Getty

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James also added 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers, while Rodney Hood contributed 15 points. Larry Nance Jr. finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Jeff Green came off the bench to chip in 10 points.

Nikola Jokic dazzled in defeat for Denver with 36 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. But it wasn’t enough to keep the Nuggets from losing for the second straight night and falling behind Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers for one of the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference.

Denver also got 18 points from Gary Harris, 12 apiece from Mason Plumlee and Paul Millsap, and 11 points from Jamel Murray.

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Cleveland dominated the first quarter, racing out to a 38-23 lead against a Denver team playing a back-to-back. JR Smith started the period with a 3-pointer off one of five James assists. He was responsible for 22 points in the quarter, scoring nine and setting up 13 others with passes.

The Nuggets made some inroads into the lead in the second quarter, but still couldn’t stop the Cavaliers from scoring. Denver closed within 57-52 on a 3-point play by Murray with 2:37 left in the half, but James finished a 22-point half by draining a fadeaway with 5.0 seconds remaining for a 70-58 lead at intermission.

Jokic sparked a Denver comeback in the third quarter, scoring 17 points and grabbing six rebounds. By contrast, Cleveland managed only 19 points in the period. Jokic canned a three-ball with 19.5 seconds left to cap his huge period and draw the Nuggets within 89-87.

This article was first written by Newsweek

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