LeBron James began the season by scoring at least 20 points in 33 consecutive games, the longest such streak since George Gervin’s 45-game stretch 31 years earlier.
Now the Miami star is on yet another run.
James has scored at least 30 points while shooting at least 60 percent from the field in each of his last five games, something only two other players have managed to do in NBA history.
James will try to become the first player with six such efforts when the Heat take on Portland in Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena Tuesday night.
Ironically, it was against the Trail Blazers back on Jan. 10 that James’ streak of consecutive 20-point games came to an end in a 92-90 loss.
With his 32 points in Sunday afternoon’s 107-97 win over the Los Angeles Lakers James erased teammate Dwyane Wade’s franchise record for consecutive 30-point efforts. Wade has had had four-game streaks three times, all in the 2008-09 season.
James was 12 of 18 from the field (66.7 percent) against the Lakers and hit one of his two 3-point attempts.
“I just go out and play my game and take the shots that’s there,” said James, who took only four shots and had only 12 points in the first half. “If a guys’ up on me, I try to drive. If guy backs up, I shoot.
“However the game is played, I try to take its course.”
James may have the ball in hands at the end of games, but he doesn’t force the issue.
“Offensively, I’m just comfortable,” he said. “I’m confident in my ability. The best thing about it my teammates allow me to do that, to do things I do on the floor.
“I try to make plays for us to win. That’s what it’s all about ultimately.”
Not coincidentally, the Heat have won each of the games in James’ streak.
In shooting overall, James has gone 55 of 77 from the field in the five games combined (71.4 percent).
James started the streak in Toronto on Feb. 3, when he was 10 of 16 from he field and scored 30 points against the Raptors. Back in Miami the next night, he was 13 of 14 from the field for 31 points against the Charlotte Bobcats to open a five-game homestead.
The game against the Trail Blazers could be a stumbling block
In the first of the two meetings between the two teams, he was only 6 of 16 from the field and scored a season-low 15 points. He did have 10 rebounds for a double-double and just missed a triple-double with nine assists, but that was small consolation in a game the Heat led throughout the second half until the last minute.
The Heat will be bucking a trend against the Trail Blazers. They are only 5-18 all-time against the Blazers in Miami meetings.