If it feels like it’s been forever since LeBron James was held to single-digit scoring, that’s because it actually has been a record-breaking amount of games.
By scoring 27 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 107-102 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, James finished in double figures for the 867th straight time, passing Michael Jordan for most consecutive games with at least 10 points in NBA history.
Not to be lost in the shuffle was James falling one rebound shy of a triple-double with 11 assists and nine boards while leading a second-half rally in which the Cavaliers outscored the Pelicans 60-45.
James set the mark in style by slamming a two-handed dunk with 5:59 left in the first quarter, drawing a brief tribute, a standing ovation from the Quicken Loans Arena faithful and the game ball during a stoppage in play.
867 straight games scoring in double-figures. @KingJames just broke Michael Jordan’s record for the most consecutive double-figure games in @NBAHistory. #StriveForGreatness 🚀 pic.twitter.com/hRvl60VHrJ— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) March 31, 2018
“It will probably go in my trophy case with a lot of accomplishments in my life,” James said of the game ball.
The last time James didn’t reach double digits in scoring was on January 5, 2007, when he finished with eight points on 3-of-13 shooting as the Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks.
No active player is even close to James’ benchmark, with James Harden in possession of the next-longest streak at 259 games.
James spoke about the record and what it means in greater length after shootaround on Friday.
“It’s not like I set out to say that I want to be the No1 in scoring 10 points, double digits or consecutive games or whatever that and whatnot, but anytime like a statistical category comes up and I’m able to accomplish something like that, I mean it’s pretty incredible,” he said.
“I think it’s been like 11 years that I’ve been able to accomplish this feat, so I’ve been able to take care of my body, that’s one, and I’ve been around some great teammates and coaches and two organisations that have allowed me to be who I am, so that’s two, and just going out and playing for the joy of the game.
“So to be able to tie Mike the last game and have an opportunity set the record tonight is a pretty cool achievement.”
James’ performance against New Orleans also gave him 941 games with at least 20 points in his career, tying Kobe Bryant. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is next on the list and sits second all-time with 1,122, while Karl Malone is the leader with 1,134.
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