LeBron James broke Michael Jordan's record. 'It is pretty incredible'
On January 5, 2007, LeBron James had a poor game against the Milwaukee Bucks, scoring just eight points on 3-of-13 shooting.
It would be the last time James scored fewer than 10 points in an NBA game.
On Friday, in Cleveland’s 107-102 come-from-behind win over the New Orleans Pelicans, James scored 27 points on 12-of-24 shooting. It was his 867th consecutive game scoring in double figures, setting a new NBA record for the longest such streak.
The previous record holder, with 866? Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
It was also James’ 941st career game with at least 20 points, which moved him into a tie for third on the all-time list with Kobe Bryant.
LeBron James now has 941 career games with 20 points or more, tying him with Kobe Bryant for the 3rd most of all time.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 31, 2018
James still needs to put up over two full seasons’ worth of 20-point games to claw his way to the top of the list. Karl Malone had 1,134 such games on his way to becoming the second-leading scorer in NBA history, and the player behind him with 1,121 20-point games is the only man ahead of him in total points, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
James has 30,882 career regular season points, so a few hundred 20-point games would go a long way toward moving him past Abdul-Jabbar and Malone. The Cavaliers superstar is second among active players (behind Dirk Nowitzki’s 31,164 points) and seventh all-time (Bryant, Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain round out the top five in NBA history.)
Of course, James is no stat hound, as evidenced by what he told reporters after breaking Jordan’s record Friday.
“It is not like I set out to say I want to be the number one in scoring 10-plus points, double digits for consecutive games or whatever, and what-not,” he said.
Still, James did recognize the magnitude of his accomplishment, saying that “any time a statistical category comes up and I am able to accomplish something like that, it is pretty incredible.”
He continued, “If you look at it, I think it has been 11 years I have been able to accomplish this feat. I have been able to take care of my body, that’s one. I have been around some great teammates and coaches and two organizations that have allowed me to be who I am, and so that’s two.
“And then just going out and playing for the joy of the game,” he added.
The comment about taking care of his body is particularly telling. James has been to seven consecutive NBA Finals and is 20th all-time in regular season minutes played. He will very likely pass Tim Duncan this spring as the all-time leader in playoff minutes.
Meanwhile, Cleveland is currently battling the Indiana Pacer and Philadelphia 76ers for the third seed in the Eastern Conference, a prize that carries with it the easiest potential road to the conference finals, since it means facing a depleted Celtics team in the second round of the playoffs.
Getting the best possible performance out of James will be critical for the Cavaliers during these last two weeks of the regular season.
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