James was driving to the rim in the first quarter and McLemore decided to try to take the charge, which was quite admirable and predictably futile.
James' knee was at roughly the same height as McLemore's chin as he dunked the ball, the most spectacular of the 51 often-easy baskets the Heat got while rolling past the Kings 122-103 on Friday night.
"Sucks that it was him, too," James said. "I like him. I've been talking to him since he was in high school."
Now they have something else to talk about. McLemore ended up on his back, the Heat bench went into hysterics, and it was just one example of how even the right play wasn't going to be enough for the Kings.
They shot 58 percent -- and lost by 19 points. Shooting that well and losing by that much simply doesn't happen in the NBA, or at least, hadn't happened since April 5, 1986, when Phoenix shot 61 percent and lost to Sacramento 119-100.
"Every day in practice, every shootaround, every team meeting, every film session, all we talk about is our defense and obviously the message isn't getting through," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "They're not accepting it. They're not willing to accept it. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I have to find five guys (Saturday) night starting in Orlando who are willing to compete on the defensive end of the floor."
The Heat set a season high for points and flirted with a franchise record for shooting, finishing at 61 percent.
Chris Bosh scored 25 points, Dwyane Wade added 20 and James had 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds while sitting out the fourth quarter for Miami, which has won four straight overall and 18 of its last 19 against the Kings. Ray Allen added 18 and Mario Chalmers scored 16 for the Heat.
"I think we're picking and choosing our spots pretty good right now," Bosh said. "We're doing a really good job of seeing where we can be aggressive and it's working out. If we can continue to pick and choose our spots, keep moving the ball like normal, then things will work out."
DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 27 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes. McLemore scored 20 and Rudy Gay added 14 for Sacramento, which has now dropped the first three games of its four-game trip.
"It's a great learning experience for me as a rookie going out there and playing the great wings out there," McLemore said. "D-Wade especially and Ray Allen, a great shooter, and especially LeBron, it was a great challenge for me."
Of James' dunk, McLemore said he was just trying to draw a charge.
"Just knowing LeBron, I knew they weren't going to call that," he said, according to The Palm Beach Post. "I was just playing my defensive principles- going in, being the low man and taking the charge. Even though they didn't call it, I didn't let that stop me or mess my game up. I still went out there and did some things to help the team.
"I really don't know what happened over there. I was just doing my defensive principles on the weakside low man. I just went over there to try to take the charge. He dunked the ball. Afterwards, I thought I should have fouled him."