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Stretching the Field: LeBron's latest deluge nothing unusual
By Shawn Clarke, NBA Contributing Editor
(Sports Network) - LeBron James has scored 30 or more points in each of his last five games and is shooting no worse than 60 percent in that time.
James is fourth in the NBA with 27.0 ppg and has failed to net at least 20 points in a game only once this season.
The premier athlete of the world, James is expected to take over a game in the prime of his career and it's nothing special for how dominant the Miami Heat superstar has been recently.
James hitting 30-plus points is as common as Chris Brown running into the wrong arm of the law or Stewie Griffin finding himself in a peculiar predicament. It's been business as usual for the one who voiced his desire to bring several championships to South Beach.
Not five, not six, not seven ...
Yep, that's what the man better known as King James predicted. Of course, James was just buttering muffins at an introductory press conference much like he's been slathering points across opposing defenses. But at least he's helped bring another title to the shores of Biscayne Bay.
James, the NBA's reigning MVP, set a franchise record with 30 points in five straight games Sunday in a 107-97 win over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined Hall of Famers Adrian Dantley and Moses Malone as the only NBA players to score that many points and shoot at least 60 percent five straight times.
That's pretty good company, but we all know James will eventually join basketball immortality in Springfield, Mass., regardless.
The Heat wouldn't be where they are now had James not brought his talents to South Beach. They are first in field goal percentage (0.492), third in 3-point shooting (0.386) and fifth in scoring (102.8 ppg). Guess who's responsible? You got it, James.
"I go out and just play my game. I take the shots that are there," James said after the win over the Lakers. "If a guy's up on me I try to drive, a guy backs up I shoot. However the game is played I try to take its course. Offensively I'm just comfortable. I'm confident in my ability and the best thing about it is my teammates allow me to do that."
James said the ultimate goal is to make plays to win. And the Heat are winning at a rapid pace with five straight and 10 in the last 12 games. They've also ripped off seven wins in a row at home.
Winning does a lot for a player to enjoy himself, according to James, the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points. He still knows he can't do it alone regardless of what others may speculate.
"Winning does a lot. I love to compete, I love to go against the best, I love to be out there with my teammates," James said. "We're enjoying the way we're playing basketball right now because we're doing it as a team. It's not just one individual or two guys. We're all contributing while we're winning right now."
But let's be honest here, James is unlike any other player who has perspired on the court. He's the size of an NFL linebacker and has the speed of a track star. You don't need a sports scientist to decipher that this man is going to produce numbers the likes of which haven't been seen before. Will he one day pass Kareem, The Mailman or even his Airness in points scored? Maybe, because he'll be playing at a high level for another six to eight years. At least.
When James joined Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Malone as three-time winners of the MVP award he averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists, and shot 53.1 percent from the floor. The three-time NBA Player of the Month is posting averages of 27.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.9 assists, and shooting 56.2 percent in 2012-13. Do we see another Maurice Podoloff Trophy in the future? According to the Magic 8-ball, it is decidedly so. Just don't tell Kevin Durant.
For how deep James has been dialed in from the floor, the Heat have benefited as evidenced by their 21-2 record this season when shooting at least 50 percent from the field, including 38-2 through last season.
Before Miami closes out a five-game homestand and embarks on a four-game trek, the Portland Trail Blazers will make a stop at AmericanAirlines Arena.
"We're happy that we're able to go out and play good ball no matter who it's against," James said. "We understand that we have another really good team coming into our building on Tuesday in Portland and we look forward to that one, too."
You can bet the Blazers will be looking forward to the challenge after holding James to 15 points in a 92-90 win back on Jan. 10. In 18 career games against Portland, James is averaging 29.2 ppg -- just a few points shy of his current scoring binge.
A lot can change with a player's game during a month of action and it would be no surprise if James stays the course on this box score rampage.
02/11 14:36:54 ET