- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 9, 2011

MIAMI | With a shrug and a smile, LeBron James put the NBA on notice.

It happened Tuesday night, in his televised on-court interview after his latest colossal game: 41 points, a season-high-tying 13 rebounds, eight assists, three steals in a 117-112 victory for the Miami Heat over the Indiana Pacers.

James confirmed what his play of late has been revealing — that the acclimation process to his new surroundings might be over.

“I’m in my zone, in a comfort zone where I’ve been the last two years,” James told Sun Sports as the arena emptied, the sweat still falling off his head. “It took me a little while to get here, but I’m very comfortable with this team. I’m very comfortable with the sets, offensively and defensively.

“And I’m back to playing LeBron James basketball.”

For the past two years, when he was leading the Cleveland Cavaliers, that’s meant MVP basketball.

It may mean the same again.

The NBA’s two-time reigning MVP is the league’s leading scorer since Jan. 1, averaging 30.6 points per game — even while teammate Dwyane Wade is scoring at a 26.6-point clip over that span, the third-best average since the calendar flipped to 2011.

James is on pace for a career-high in double-doubles. His 51 points in Orlando last week is the league’s single-game high this season. He’s averaging 29.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.5 assists in his last 20 games.

And to think, James said he doesn’t even start the process of getting postseason-sharp until after the All-Star break.

LeBron did,” Pacers center Roy Hibbert marveled Tuesday night after James‘ big night, “what LeBron does.”

That’s why the Heat wanted him so badly last summer, of course.

He’s the current Eastern Conference player of the week, which has become such a commonplace award for him — he’s won 30 in his career — that it goes largely unnoticed. The ankle and shin injuries he dealt with in the first half of the season may have been more problematic than anyone knew, considering that his explosiveness — or lack thereof at times — was a running joke among teammates.

Not anymore.

James had a season-high five dunks Tuesday night, including a spectacular one in the first quarter. Wade had a shot blocked by Indiana’s Josh McRoberts, but James swooped in, grabbed the rebound and dunked it with such force that the ball glanced off the left side of Wade’s face.

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