MIAMI (AP) - When LeBron James first heard about this streak of games with at least 30 points and 60 percent shooting, he did not immediately think about who was on the list.
He thought about who wasn’t.
Wilt Chamberlain? Not there. Michael Jordan? Not there. Shaquille O’Neal? Not there, either. In NBA history, only Adrian Dantley and Moses Malone had put together five straight 30-point, 60-percent efforts _ that is, until James joined their super-exclusive club.
And now, he stands alone.
James scored 30 points on 11 for 15 shooting to get into the NBA record books, Chris Bosh scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Miami Heat wound up beating the Portland Trail Blazers 117-104 in a wild, momentum-swinging game Tuesday night.
“It kind of blew my mind,” James said. “To see how small the list was and for me to even be a part of the list, to start off, it’s like, `Wow.’”
“Wow” doesn’t even come close to summing up how he’s been in the last six games. He’s shot 66 for 92 _ and take away a “slow” 6-for-12 start at Toronto on Feb. 3, he’s made 60 of his last 80 field-goal tries, a ridiculous 75 percent success rate. He’s scored either 30, 31 or 32 points in all six of these games.
His latest brilliance came in Miami’s 1,000th regular-season win. But the only history anyone will remember was what James accomplished.
“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.”
Dwyane Wade added 24 points for Miami, which wasted a pair of 14-point leads _ then put the game away with a 14-0 run in the final minutes. Ray Allen added 14 for Miami.
Damian Lillard had a game-high 33 points for Portland, which got 29 from LaMarcus Aldridge and 20 from Wesley Matthews. Just like the Heat, the Blazers also saw a 14-point lead slip away in the game, and then simply got shut down late by a stretch of airtight Miami defense.
Pretty good assessment from the rookie. For as great as he was, it was James‘ night.
“That’s why he is who he is,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “The best player in the game.”