LeBron James needed only 10 points against the Michael Jordan-owned Charlotte Hornets to tie Michael Jordan’s NBA record for consecutive games scoring in double figures. James not only matched Jordan’s record, he cranked it up a notch and started pouring it on in The House of Jordan. Kudos to the NBA’s subversive schedule-making for setting that one up.
By the time James was done, he’d stopped two assists shy of a triple double in 38 minutes, scoring 41 points, corralling 10 rebounds and dishing eight assists in a 118-105 win over the Hornets. It was an irreverent record-breaking performance that was akin to watching Rick James stomp mud all over Charlie Murphy’s couch.
Ironically, Jordan’s 866-game streak began in 1986 after a night when he tallied eight points in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jordan’s streak ended during his final season with the Wizards when he scored six points against the Indiana Pacers.
James’ current streak commenced following an eight-point, 3-for-13 shooting performance against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 5, 2007. Jordan didn’t comment on James breaking his record, but James was humbled afterwards, per ESPN.
“I can’t tell you how I’ve been able to do it,” James said. “Any time I’m mentioned with some of the greats, and arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time in Mike, it’s just another feat for me to be just appreciative and humbled by what I’m able to do.”
James’ ceiling has always been higher than most, but it’s his floor that defines how consistently he plays at a high level. In this golden offensive age, MVP front-runner James Harden holds the second-longest streak among active players at 257 consecutive games scoring in double-figures. At 33, James may stretch this record into untouchable territory. Reaching 1,000 games isn’t out of the question.
One night after scoring only 18 during the first night of a back-to-back in a loss to the Miami Heat, James was electric. James scored his 10th point 18 minutes into the contest after receiving a lob from J.R. Smith. Over the final 28, James scored another 31 points to give himself 41 points, shooting 14-of-26 from the field in the Cavs win.
Earlier in the day, when asked who he’d vote for as the MVP, James gave a rather vainglorious answer.
“I would vote for me,” James told The Associated Press.
James entered this matchup against the Heat averaging 30 points, 9.5 assists and 9.6 rebounds per game in the month of March. After playing every single game this season, it’s a testament to James’ greatness that as the playoffs approach, he’s playing with more vigor than he has all season.
It may be time to consider the possibility that James has simply been saving himself for the postseason.
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