Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – NBA fans, and players, have known that Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has taken his game to a level not seen before. And now, he stands alone with a streak that may never be broken.
LeBron scored 30 points on 11-15 shooting to move into the NBA record books for consecutive games with at least 30 points and at least 60 percent shooting from the field. The list of players who couldn’t pull off the feat is just as impressive as the fact LeBron is all alone with the record.
Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Russell, none could ever put up five straight 30 points, 60-percent shooting in their Hall of Fame careers. Only LeBron can claim that title after Tuesday’s win over Portland.
“I’m at a loss for words,” James said. “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.”
Just to put LeBron’s streak in perspective, he’s hit 66 of his last 92 shots, which is an absurd 72 percent shooting percentage over his last six games. Take out a 6-12 game against Toronto on February and he is 60 for his last 80 shots, which raises the shooting percentage to 75 percent.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard scored 33 points against the Heat, but like his teammates, was powerless to stop LeBron when the game was on the line.
“That was typical Miami Heat stuff,” Lillard said. “Transition, finishing strong around the rim, and LeBron picking defenses apart.”
“That’s why he is who he is,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “The best player in the game.”
While LeBron has been compared to Michael Jordan, James’ overall game is completely different from Jordan’s. LeBron’s game most closely resembles former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Magic Johnson. While both can score almost at will, both big men had the ability to run the point and saw the court better than almost anyone in NBA history.
LeBron isn’t M.J., he’s L.J. and while he’s still in the prime of his career, it’s easy to say that for that current generation, LeBron is quite simply the greatest basketball player on the face of the earth.
But LeBron is going to face a very tough challenge trying to keep his streak alive on Thursday night when the Heat travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder. The Thunder have the second best record in the Western Conference at 39-13, and are an impressive 23-3 at home this season.
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