LeBron Gets Record, Heat Get Right

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OAKLAND – Sure, there was the historical: LeBron James on Wednesday night became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points, reaching the milestone more than a year faster than previous record holder Kobe Bryant, and also logged his 5,000th assist.

The Heat constricting on defense to trounce the Warriors 92-75 at Oracle Arena as James stacked 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 31 minutes was more about the moment, but was also significant in its own right. In some ways, it seemed to feel as good as the legacy stuff.

Miami had lost three of the first four games on the trip, beating only the Kings. The Heat had fallen to 8-9 overall on the road a season after finishing 18-15 en route to the championship. Most concerning of all, the team had started to play like a bored squad in some midseason malaise that finally prompted coach Eric Spoelstra to encourage the Heat to play with a sense of urgency, mid-January or not.

“We even mentioned it today in the shootaround, that guys need to get out of their comfort zone and bring something more, different,” Spoelstra said, channeling his master-motivator boss, Pat Riley. “Show the next guy, your brother in the locker room, how much it means to you to get a win; To do whatever it takes to compete to get this win. Our guys were expending a lot of energy on that defensive end with their activity, and that really set the tone for us. Our starters, even though we came out and missed some shots early, we got some good looks … the activity level, you could tell that we were with it tonight.”

They were like brothers in the locker room, all right. When James was presented the game ball behind closed doors, players pounced.

“A punch, a jab, an elbow, whatever they could get in before he started hitting back,” Spoelstra said.

Yes, the fun was back in a way that had been missing.

James got the scoring milestone at 28 years and 17 days old, ahead of Bryant reaching 20,000 at 29 years and 122 days, with a 12-footer in the lane with 2:45 remaining in the second quarter. James became the 38th player to break 20K and along with Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Bryant the fourth to do it before turning 30. James is the seventh-fastest to get there in games, with 726, far off the Chamberlain pace of 499.

That would have made it special enough. But it was a unique moment in the greater sense.

“The state of our team, as far as we wanted to win and we wanted to play well,” James said. “It was a different type of feeling in that sense. Having been 1-3 on the road to this point, it had a lot to do with it.”

51 Comments

  1. GREENALLDAY18BANNER18’sACOMIN”13

  2. & OOH-just a reminder, lbj will never be as good never mind better than Jordon, kobe neither! Now Jordon’s the man. Let me repeat that-JORDON’S IS THEEE MAN! NUFF SAID!

  3. So what! They also have stated lbj was younger than Jordon when buying oops i mean winning a ring! So what again, Rondo was younger than lbj when Celts won! Nobody made a big deal about that.

  4. I know it all! says:

    All I know is that Kobe is the man! I will repeat in case you didn’t hear it!!!! KOBE IS THE MAN!!!!! Accept it because I know it all!!!

  5. tituswu says:

    common, where’s jeremy lin?

  6. PeterNorth says:

    Lebron a remarkable shooter… thats funny… lol

  7. Ivan says:

    When u can find sopmeone as good as LeBron down in the post and a remarkable shooter, u LeBron haters can call me.

  8. dj rgm9 says:

    to @fransisco ; mr. Letravel need’s 5 more rings to consider the best all time!To repeat this year alone is a hole different story,soon they gonna be exposed they’re weakest link ‘SOLID BIG MEN’,they have no cap room space to aquire a real solid big men aka Bynum type of center.They have to trade one of theyre important pieces like maybe ‘Dwayne’ or something.I d’ont see this happening this season trading Dwayne or Letravel,another thing is happening also like smaller market team’s closing the gap with ‘big market teams’.You saw this trend enuf evolving starting from this season,bank my words that ‘uncle Pat’ feeling this kind of heat on his seat!Ohw and now i know what kind of ‘bandwagoner’ you are !,a solid LETRAVEL ..SLICKER!!!Always spitting hatred,bashing the LAKERS team each blog with some other ‘fake heat bandwagon fans’!!!Ain’t over until the fat lady sings boy!!!

    • mike garus says:

      I used to be a Lakers fan. But when did Lakers fan become such idiots? Are you all 9 years old?

    • chad says:

      funny coming from a fan of the Lakers who have always got calls over the other teams and kobe who is the worst at carry overs and takes as many steps as a tap dancer

  9. KingJames says:

    Congratulations to LeBron the best player on the planet!

  10. Silence I'll Kill You says:

    @ patty

    oh really? how come he has 3 MVPs in in the 5 past seasons? just accept the fact that he’s better than anyone in terms of being all around.

    just try to respect him for his hardwork.

  11. big cat says:

    lol legend who won’t win another ring, I could name 6 or 7 teams out west who are better than the stinky heat , let me ask you a question who’s title was more impressive dirk or lebrons, dirk could’ve left dallas many times to join up with other all stars but he stayed loyal and didn’t walk out on his city unlike the way LeBron left cleveland

    • jhbh says:

      like rodman left for chi town, like jerry west left, like nash left, like shaq left, like dwight left, like wilt left and countless others. he gave cleveland 8 years, he still lives there in the offseason and gives boatloads of money to cleveland charities. stop using that as an excuse to dislike him, you probably didnt like him before he did that. Remember kobe threatened to leave many times when he wasn’t getting his way

      • jhbh says:

        plus bron played out his contract without complaining once get over it

      • big cat says:

        lol letravel , this bum gets away with more travelling calls than any player in nba history , 4 , 5 ,6 steps ? to get a layup or dunk lol,

  12. Jose says:

    Most savvy post of this blog.

  13. Game Time says:

    Just goes to show you that taking high percentage shots and making smart plays will pay off better than volume shooting or excessive scoring.

  14. Patty says:

    Lebron should never be the face of the NBA.

    • Silence I'll Kill You says:

      bitter? SMH, the article is for LBJ not for KOBE. dnt get jealous man. KOBE’s prime is on the past.. this is LBJ’s. OK??

    • Amir says:

      He gets what he deserves. He is best now and a wonderful team player.

    • theking0522 says:

      Whiner!!! Dumb laker fan, as Kobe calls you….One and half years ahead of Kobe in scoring. Enough said

    • TEETEE says:

      Patty who are you why you talking about KING JAMES like you know him….. LEBRON JAMES is and always will be the best and better than kobe at that…..!!!!

      • Children says:

        Lebron is better than Kobe now. However, who will have been greater, is a different story. But what just does “greater” mean? If by helping a team win games in general, Lebron will have been better by the end of it. However, if you talk about valuable in terms of winning championships, I think Kobe will have been better. Lebron FINALLY changed in that regard last playoffs because he couldn’t blame his teammates like in Cleveland. But he’s not a natural in that regard like Kobe.

    • Gamber says:

      Sorry Patty, too late for that….

    • Larry says:

      you must be a cleveland fan. multiple comments hating on lebron. get over it.

  15. Reality says:

    Legend in the Making.

  16. Francisco says:

    BEST PLAYER SINCE MICHAEL JORDAN

  17. cantstopfate says:

    What a surprise! #sarcasm – The Heat TRY for 3 full quarters and are up by 30 & can sit the whole 4th…

  18. Beverly says:

    Congradulations to LeBron. He has worked so hard.

  19. Silence I'll Kill You says:

    nuff said… King James!
    i hope that james to be back on scoring mode.. like 30+ a game.. like when he was in cavs.

  20. LUGA KA says:

    kobe who???

    • Patty says:

      Kobe Bryant is his name. Kobe Bryant is the Best Player in the NBA.

      • dattebayo says:

        stop living in the past…

      • jhbh says:

        except at no point has that been true, first shaq was better now lebron and kd are better, sorry lakers fans maybe start watching other games so you can see how much better other players actually are

      • Ganja daze says:

        You’re an idiot, Kobe is not close to the best in the NBA by far, in fact he isn’t even top 5 player in the NBA right now, you fool.

      • Mobius One says:

        Sorry, but not better than Lebron. He may lead the league in scoring. That doesnt make him the best.

    • Children says:

      Seriously? Kobe who will be in the top 5 all-time in scoring not to mention his other stats and 5 titles (1 without shaq), and at no time was he the best in the NBA?
      It’s because of such obvious prejudice that Kobe didnt win more MVP’s, no offense to Steve Nash.

      I am a Heat fan but obviously Kobe deserved at least 1 of those MVP’s that Lebron won prematurely.

  21. nobigdeal says:

    durant will be the next youngest player to do it!

    • prix says:

      KD could possibly be but he is not Kobe…with only scoring mentality plus ego…and KD normally play dangerously, hoping he wont be the next Brandon Roy

      • Patty says:

        Kevin Durant is not in the same league as Kobe Bryant. KD wants Kobe to retire but that is not going to happen.

      • jhbh says:

        you’re half right about that except kd is way better and way less selfish, and a way better teammate. maybe you should compare the thunder and the lakers right now for proof ding dong

    • kingk says:

      you need to understand that Durant came out of college so he wont be able to do that

    • IAMRP3 says:

      KD IS THE MAN BUT HE GOT 4 YEARS TO SCORE 8,922 POINTS AND I DONT SEE THAT HAPPENING

    • Megan says:

      Wat r u talikng about??????????????????? Durant is a Thunder player