EditorsNote: adds LeBron’s matching MJ’s record, MJ’s quote on Walker
LeBron James had 41 points to match a record held by Michael Jordan and lead the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers to a 118-105 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night at Spectrum Center.
James has now scored at least 10 points in 866 straight games, tying the record held by Jordan, now the Hornets’ chairman. James, who started the streak on Jan. 6, 2007, tied Jordan’s mark in the second quarter on an alley-oop dunk from JR Smith. Jordan’s streak spanned from 1986-2001.
James, who added 10 rebounds and eight assists, wasn’t the only one who had a record-setting night.
Kemba Walker scored 21 points and broke the franchise record for points scored at 9,841, passing Dell Curry (9,839), and the franchise mark for free throws made at 2,003, passing Gerald Wallace (1,999).
“I’m really happy for Kemba,” Jordan said in a statement. “Becoming the franchise’s all-time leading scorer is a big accomplishment and it’s a testament to his hard work, dedication and passion for the game of basketball. He exemplifies what it means to be a Hornet.
“His effort, leadership and commitment to our team and the city of Charlotte is second to none. I’m proud to have him on our team. Congratulations Kemba!”
Cleveland, which rebounded from a 19-point loss at Miami to win for the sixth time in seven games, shot 48.4 percent from the field, went 11 of 28 (39 percent) from 3-point range and hit 85 percent from the free-throw line.
Cleveland led 95-78 entering the fourth quarter, but the Hornets trimmed the lead to 11 with 7:02 left in the game. The Cavaliers went on a 15-10 run as James had six points on a pair of dunks and a layup to increase the lead.
The Cavaliers used a big second quarter to take control, outscoring Charlotte 42-28 to take a 64-54 lead into halftime. James had 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting before the break, and Smith had 10 points off the bench for Cleveland.
Smith finished with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting, and Jeff Green added 18 points for the Cavaliers, who are a half-game in front of the Philadelphia 76ers for third place in the Eastern Conference.
Dwight Howard added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Kaminsky finished with 16 points, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb added 11 apiece.
Charlotte got off to a good start, leading 26-22 after the first quarter.
Cleveland returns home for a Friday contest against the New Orleans Pelicans to kick off a four-game homestand.
Charlotte heads back on the road for a Saturday game at Washington before returning home to host Philadelphia on Sunday.
—Field Level Media