LeBron Reaching New Heights
Miami — After a recent Miami Heat practice in Washington, Ray Allen told the coaching staff he was skipping the bus ride and running back to the hotel.
LeBron James’ ears perked up.
With that, the three-time NBA MVP went looking for his running shoes.
“LeBron said, ‘If you’re going to do that, I’m going to do that too. I’m not going to be outdone by somebody else. I’m going to run,’ ” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “So he gets very competitive with things like that. If other people are working on their game, he takes notice.”
That approach must be working. James’ game — already considered among the best in the NBA — might be better than ever right now.
He’s made 37 of his last 47 shots over his last 111 minutes, a torrid 79-percent clip. For the season, he’s shooting a career-best 56 percent so far, easily on pace for the sixth straight season of improvement in that department. His 3-point shooting, at 42 percent this season, is much improved. He’s shooting 70 percent inside the paint.
“I want to continue to push the button, continue to get better, maximize my potential and not waste an opportunity,” James said.
The numbers go on and on. He’s averaging 26.9 points this season. According to Stats LLC, only five players in NBA history have averaged that many points while shooting at least 56 percent over a full season. Maybe that’s why Heat guard Dwyane Wade marvels when talking about James these days, saying “every year, it seems like he does the amazing.”
Last Night’s Games
Nuggets 111, Cavaliers 103
Cleveland — Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, Kenneth Faried added 17 and the Nuggets won their ninth straight game.
The Nuggets, who have won 15 of 17, are on their longest winning streak since posting 10 straight victories from March 30-April 15, 2005.
76ers 87, Bobcats 76
PhiladelphiA — Lavoy Allen had 14 points and a career-high 22 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 20 points to lead Philadelphia over Charlotte.
Evan Turner had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Jeremy Pargo scored 12 points in his Sixers debut.
Pargo signed a 10-day contract last week after he was waived by Cleveland.
The Sixers improved to 5-2 on their eight-game homestand that ends Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The solid showing at home has helped the Sixers inch closer to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.