LeBron James hasn't attempted a free throw in back-to-back games

By Royce Young | NBA writer

LeBron James had his doubts after joining the Heat early on. (USATSI)
LeBron hasn't been to the free throw line in two games. (USATSI)

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This is weird, right?

LeBron James had 23 points on 10-15 shooting in a quality get-back-on-track 99-90 win over the Wizards on Monday night. But he didn't go to the free throw line a single time.

Which followed up his game on Sunday against the Bulls, where he played four quarters and even overtime without taking a free throw. The game Sunday was the first time since 2009 LeBron hadn't attempted a free throw in a game. But now with it happening two straight times, this is the first time it's happened consecutively since 2003, LeBron's rookie season.

"Very surprised," James told reporters about it.

One thing LeBron did get back to, though? Making shots outside of the paint. After going 1-23 on jumpers following his 61-point explosion, LeBron knocked down 3-4 from 3.

Here's a theory as to the recent free throw swoon: LeBron had his nose cracked by Serge Ibaka a couple weeks ago, and had to wear a mask. The last couple games, he's ditched the mask. So maybe there's a little natural hesitance to go stick his nose back in the paint.

LeBron averages 7.3 free throw attempts per game, placing him eighth in the league. But since he had his nose busted, he's taken just 5.1.

So with the Heat taking on the Nets on Wednesday, there's something to watch for: LeBron has never gone three straight games without taking a free throw. And I'm thinking it stays that way.

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