LeBron James Head to Head: Who Has the Highest Winning Percentage vs the NBA’s King?

Published 02/28/2024, 8:37 PM EST

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In his remarkable 21st year, LeBron James continues to be celebrated as the king of the NBA. Since 2003, James has navigated through generations of players, and been at the forefront of the ever-evolving NBA landscape. With that, he has woven compelling storylines against the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, and Golden State Warriors – all coming back to his unparalleled dominance.

Looking at the intensity of the games, Golden State has had the most success against James in recent years. Yet, intriguingly, when delving into discussions about the player who has experienced the most success against James, it appears that his Miami Heat days haven’t entirely released him from their grip.

Kawhi Leonard has the best record against LeBron James


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Entering the league in 2011, Kawhi Leonard has engaged in a total of 31 matchups against LeBron James, encompassing both regular-season and playoff encounters. In the intriguing head-to-head, Leonard emerges with a remarkable record of 19 wins and 12 losses, boasting a .613 winning percentage—the highest among any NBA player against LeBron. His first game against LBJ came in January 2012, culminating in a defeat.

Adding an intriguing layer to the narrative, Kawhi Leonard’s inaugural NBA team, the San Antonio Spurs, proudly holds the best playoff record against LeBron James. In their triumphant clashes, Leonard played a monumental role on the defensive end, making life challenging for James during his Heat days.


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However, Kawhi’s clashes are not the sole memories still stringing along with LeBron James’ career. Paul Pierce, a centerpiece from the legendary Boston Celtics dynasty, boasts a tally of 21 regular-season victories against Bron, engaging in a total of 39 gripping encounters. It is the best season record by a player against James.

The Golden State Warriors also secure a spot in the captivating mix, with their formidable trio—Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green—equally sitting with the best playoff games against LeBron James, notching up 17 victories


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Teams with the worst record against LeBron James

The aforementioned statistics underline that James has his work cut out for his next game (the Lakers face the Clippers at home). However, there are a handful of teams equally struggling and yet to make a mark in the winning column against the King.

One such team is the Charlotte Hornets, managing only 7 victories in a staggering 56 games against James.


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Interestingly, the second and third worst records against James come from his native and current home teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers have secured just 3 wins in 21 matchups against James. Furthermore, the Los Angeles Lakers have faced James in 30 games, emerging victorious only 8 times.

On the brighter side, James’ former home team, the Miami Heat, boasts a more favorable record, with a 21-24 tally through 45 engaging contests against James.


Written by:

Saahil Dhillan


One take at a time

Saahil Dhillan is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports who discovered his basketball passion through the dynamic between Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Years later, Kobe Bryant reignited his love, transforming him into an extensive contributor who savors the matches, covers games live, analyzes post-game pressers, and reports on injuries. With his stories, he aims at making readers feel the intense drama unfolding on the court every day.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe