LeBron James is on the verge of another milestone.
The Miami Heat forward has scored at least 10 points in 499 consecutive regular-season games and will go for No. 500 on Tuesday night when the two-time defending NBA champions visit the Toronto Raptors.
James, a four-time league MVP, would become only the fifth player in NBA history with that many consecutive games of 10 or more points. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (with streaks of 787 and 508 games), Michael Jordan (866), Karl Malone (575) and Moses Malone (526) have accomplished the feat.
“That’s pretty cool since you brought it up. I had no idea,” James said. “Hopefully you didn’t jinx me. … It is pretty cool, man, when you put it that way. It lets me know that I’ve been healthy and I’ve been able to go out on the court and do what I need to do every night and try to help the team win.”
James scored eight points at Milwaukee on Jan. 5, 2007. He scored 19 points at New Jersey the following night, and the streak has grown in every regular-season game he played since.
And most nights, the streak has lived on by a fairly comfortable margin.
He’s finished with exactly 10 points only once in his last 499 regular-season games — that being Oct. 31, 2007, at Dallas — and has scored under 15 points only 15 times during this stretch. On 161 separate occasions, he’s scored at least 10 points in the first quarter alone.
“I don’t ever want to take it for granted, his greatness,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “No, I don’t want to get to a point where that’s normal, because he’s not a normal player. … Part of his greatness is that consistency, being able to do it night-in, night-out against great competition.”
James has more regular-season games of scoring at least 50 points (nine) than nights where he’s scored less than 10 (eight). Factor playoffs into the mix, and he’s reached double-figures 898 times in 907 career games.
“I just try to play efficient basketball and take the best shot available,” James said. “I’m a veteran guy. I understand what’s a good shot and what’s a great shot. I’m very comfortable where I am.”