LeBron James not only is breaking records; he continues to separate himself from his contemporaries. The Miami Heat has been so good that he became the first player in NBA history to score at least 30 points for six straight games while shooting 60 percent.
It was a 30-point performance on 11-for-16 shooting in a 117-104 victory over Portland that put James in the record-setting position.
“I’m at a loss for words,” James said in a recent televised postgame interview. “Like I say over and over, I know the history of the game. I know how many unbelievable players who came through the ranks, who paved the way for me and my teammates. And for me to be in the record books by myself with such a stat — any stat — it’s big-time.”
This big-time effort has become routine by James, who has played with a freedom since he led the Miami Heat to the NBA title last year. The burden of finally winning a title seemingly has allowed him to just play without the pressure, and that has led to the illumination of his brilliance.
Even on a night when teammate Chris Bosh scored 32 points with 11 rebounds — a tremendous performance by any measure — and when the Heat wins its 1,000th game in franchise history, it is James who leaves observers shaking their heads.
James has made 66 of his past 92 shots, over the past six games — and is an absurd 60 for 80, or 75 percent, in his last 188 minutes of court time. According to the Heat, only Adrian Dantley and Moses Malone had done the 30-point, 60-percent streak in five straight outings before James took over their club.
Best of all for the Heat, he did it to keep his team from defeat. In a game in which Portland battled hard, James elevated his play in the game’s deciding moments.
“That was typical Miami Heat stuff,” Portland outstanding rookie Damian Lillard, who had 33 points, said. “Transition, finishing strong around the rim, and LeBron picking defenses apart.”