LeBron 1, Kobe 0.

This is the score so far of the series this season between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, as the King won round one of the most anticipating match-ups of the NBA season. For every NBA fan, watching the Heat and Lakers is a must.

Just like last night.

It was a thrilling game, but the Miami Heat were able to come out on top led by James' 31 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists as they cruised towards a 98-87 victory to drop the Lakers to 10-6. Miami improves to 10-4.

For Kobe Bryant, things weren't looking too good for him. After his 40-point streak came to an end, the Black Mamba has still been shooting. Only this time, he has been missing. After a 14-point showing against the Mavericks, Kobe still shot and was able to get 24 points; however, though, he was eight-of-21 overall.

Tonight clearly showed James was the better player. LeBron hit a pair of three's and was just unstoppable. Oh, and not to mention, he did in fact had a flu as well. At one stretch, James and the Heat were just rolling. Kobe tried responding with a long jumper, only to result in a miss. It was competitive, but James really got to Kobe.

LeBron put the icing on the cake in the second quarter. With Kobe all on him, James made a sick pass to Shane Battier on the corner, who was able to make the three-pointer. Before Shane even shot, LeBron ran back to the other side of the court, putting up the three-point symbol with his hand. He knew he was going to make it, and he got to Kobe.

Chris Bosh did have 15 points, along with eight rebounds, but it was mostly James who did everything.

"A chest cold can get to you at times," James said. "But I felt like I could help the team."

And he did, almost earning himself a triple-double. Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers helped out a lot, scoring eleven points and ten points respectively.

One of my favorite moments of the game was when Eddy Curry checked in, his first time appearing in an NBA game since December 17th, 2009! In his first minute, Curry scored and also got a rebound. He ended up with six points and three rebounds. Honestly, people can make fun of him all they want, but to quote Brian Windhorst, him pushing 400 pounds and losing a bunch of weight and finally scoring in an NBA game after two years is truly remarkable. It's amazing how far he has come.

Speaking of jokes, LeBron added to his 75 cents, finally coming up in the fourth quarter this season. It's about time he finally earned his dollar. And did I mention that the Heat have been doing all of this WITHOUT Dwyane Wade?

"We don't take his talent for granted, nor do we take Dwyane's talent or Chris' talent," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They're special players and they can rise to the occasion."

The Lakers looked as if they would come back. Kobe would hit a jumper to put the deficit down to twelve. After that, he stole the ball and took it back for a fastbreak point to cut it to ten. But after that, it was over as the Lakers couldn't come back, despite Bryant's strong fourth-quarter performance with 14 points.

"We tried to adjust to some things," said Bryant. "We might want to go back to some of the things that we were doing a few weeks ago in terms of me being on some spots on the floor and things where I'm most comfortable."

After the fastbreak point by Kobe, Derek Fisher would miss the three, recovered by Udonis Haslem for the rebound. After that, LeBron James sealed the game with a 15-footer.

"They were the aggressors on both ends of the floor until the last few minutes of the game," Lakers coach Mike Brown said of the Heat. "We were aggressive the last six, seven minutes. You can't go over a 48-minute game against a team like this and allow them to be the aggressor for most of the night."

James was finally able to see his former coach, Mike Brown, after a couple of years when he and LeBron shared good times for six years when both were with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before the game, LeBron and Brown had an embracing moment.

"I had a great time coaching LeBron," Brown said. "I wouldn't be in this suit if it wasn't for him."

Like their black-on-black uniforms, the Miami Heat were simply solid tonight.

Round one of Kobe vs. LeBron is now over. Round two is coming up.

Can Kobe get revenge?
Written by Josh Dhani, Founder (Archive/RSS)

Josh has been writing since 2009 and founded FootBasket in April 2009. He also writes at Hardcourt Mayhem and contributes to TrueHoop’s Eight Points Nine Seconds. Check him out on JoshDhani.com and follow him on Twitter @JoshDhani


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