LeBron James broke the NBA record for consecutive games scoring at least 10 points and added 17 more as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the New Orleans Pelicans, 107-102, on Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
It was the 867th consecutive regular-season game in which James has scored at least 10 points, breaking a tie with Michael Jordan for the longest such streak in NBA history. The streak began Jan. 5, 2007. The record will stand for at least several years because the next closest active streak belongs to Houston’s James Harden (258 after Friday’s game against Phoenix ).
Jordan Clarkson added 23 points and Rodney Hood scored 16 for the Cavaliers, who maintained their hold on third place in the Eastern Conference. They stayed a half-game ahead of Philadelphia, which beat Atlanta, 101-91, and moved a game in front of idle Indiana.
Jrue Holiday led New Orleans with 25 points, Nikola Mirotic added 20, Anthony Davis scored 16 and Darius Miller had 11.
The Pelicans, who lost their third straight game, slipped into a tie with Utah for the seventh spot in the Western Conference after the Jazz beat the Grizzlies on Friday night. New Orleans sits one game back of idle San Antonio and a half-game behind Minnesota, who hung on against Dallas, and Oklahoma City, who lost in overtime to Denver. The Pelicans are two games ahead of the Nuggets and Clippers, who both sit outside the playoff picture.
The Cavaliers cut the Pelicans’ 10-point halftime lead to five during the first two minutes of the third quarter, but Mirotic answered with back-to-back 3-pointers.
The lead reached 13 before Clarkson made two 3-pointers and Jeff Green added a three-point play during a 20-6 run that gave Cleveland a 78-77 lead.
Ian Clark made a jumper for New Orleans , but Green answered with a jumper that gave the Cavaliers an 80-79 lead after three quarters.
Mirotic and Miller each made a 3-pointer to give the Pelicans an 85-82 lead before Cleveland made another run.
J.R. Smith, Clarkson and Jose Calderon each made a 3-pointer and Cleveland built a 95-88 lead midway through the quarter.
Holiday scored six straight New Orleans points, but James countered with eight straight for the Cavaliers to give them a 105-98 lead with 1:59 remaining.
Baskets by Solomon Hill and Holiday got the Pelicans within three and they had a chance to tie, but Holiday’s 3-pointer missed with 18 seconds left.
Smith made a free throw and Holiday missed another shot before Clarkson made a free throw for a five-point lead with eight seconds left.
—Field Level Media