by Diego Marquez
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade played against each other for the 31st time on Monday night during a Lakers 108-105 win over the Miami Heat at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The game was tight for all four quarters, coming down to the final shot. Down three points with 22.5 seconds to go in the game, the two met for one last possession. Wade attempted to put up a 3-point shot, but the wily veteran James accosted him with smothering defense as he missed the contested 3-point shot to the dismay of Heat fans.
Los Angeles has won six of the last seven games and is now 17-10 overall, ranking them 5th in the Western Conference, while the Miami heat drop to 11-15 and a half-game back of the eight-seeded Orlando Magic. James finished the heart-touching game recording 28 point, 12 assists and nine rebounds, just missing a triple-double by one rebound. Wade was able to turn heads as well, recording his first double-double of the season finishing with 15 point and 10 assists.
The once-dynamic duo really savored what is most likely going to be the final time the share the court in their respective careers, after beginning their journey together in the 2003 NBA Draft Class. Starting out as foes in the Eastern Conference, LeBron on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dwyane on the Miami Heat, the two finally teamed up as James decided to sign with the Miami Heat in 2010. They would go on to win two NBA Championships while reaching four consecutive NBA Finals. They even played half a season together in Cleveland when Wade decided to join the Cavs, and it did not work out as well as the other pairings.
In a sign of respect, the pair of friends traded jerseys after the final whistle and met at half-court, embracing each other and sharing one last special moment on the court together. With the win, LeBron leads the all-time matchup over Dwyane, winning 16 games, while Dwyane is sitting at 15 with one less win in the series. It’s clear that both of these athletes are at different points in their NBA careers, but one thing is certain, that they made the most of their time on the court together and will be forever immortalized as two of the most formidable teammates of all-time.