Just when you think the Miami Heat and their star LeBron James can’t get any better, they do something to make you say “Wow.”
The Heat extended their winning streak to six games on Tuesday after rolling past the Portland Trail Blazers 117-104, but more impressively, LeBron James extended his streak of 30 points and 60% field goal shooting to six games as well, which set a new NBA record.
James’ 30 points and 11 for 15 shooting performance on Tuesday broke the tie with Moses Malone and Adrian Dantley, who had each achieved a five-game streak with such numbers more than 30 years ago.
“I’m at a loss for words,” James said in a televised postgame interview, via ESPN.com. “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.”
Incredibly, James has shot 75% from the field over the course of the last six games, draining 60 of his last 80 shots. While the numbers are unfathomable when attributed to any other team or player, when attached to the Heat and James, they actually seem to fit.
“That was typical Miami Heat stuff,” Blazers guard Damian 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.”
The Blazers battled for much of the game, keeping things close, but the Heat did when they do best and pulled away late, sealing their sixth consecutive win.
At 35-14, the Heat now have a three-game edge on second-place New York in the Eastern Conference with one game remaining before the All-Star break. The Heat will play that game on Thursday at Oklahoma City in a re-match of last year’s NBA Finals. With the way both teams are playing, that game could easily be a preview of the Finals again this year as well.
The Heat have led NBA futures for most of the year as the defending champs and current East leaders. Since they are certainly playing like the best team in the league at the moment, I would say it’s safe to take them over any team, even with large spreads. However, if any team can end their recent run, it’s probably the Thunder.