LeBron James joins Jason Kidd and Larry Bird as only players in NBA, triple-double history
On Tuesday night, the Cavaliers were back in Cleveland after a three-game road trip for a matchup against the Detroit Pistons inside Quicken Loans Arena, resulting in a 128-96 runaway victory for the home team.
The Cavs, who scored 44 points in the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game, came out of the gate hot. Kyrie Irving put up 15 points in the first quarter and the team never looked back.
LeBron James, who recorded 16 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes of playing time in Tuesday night’s game, racked up his 10th triple-double of the season — a career-high. Only two other players have notched at least 10 triple-doubles in one season past the age of 32; Jason Kidd (2006-07; 2007-08) and Larry Bird (1989-90).
James has already recorded four triple-double performances this month (three in his last four games). With 16 games remaining in the regular season, we could see more of the same.
On Tuesday, Irving commented on James’ play after this season’s All-Star break, suggesting that “The King,” as James is justly known, has come back even stronger.
“Energy level — it’s at an unbelievable high since All-Star break,” Irving said of James. “He’s come back even stronger, even quicker, if he can even do that. But just making the right passes, on the money, getting guys in sets and making the right plays offensively and defensively. So, for us, we just follow suit, try to stay as consistent as we can and be there for him. When he’s playing at a high level like he has been, we just continue to be there for him.”
On the season, James is averaging 25.9 points, 8.9 assists (career-high), and 8.4 rebounds (career-high). Yesterday, Cavs Head Coach Tyronn Lue commented on James’ stellar play throughout the season, indicating that James has indeed played well, but he doesn’t see anything different his game.
“He hasn’t done anything different,” Lue said of James’ play-style. “I think he’s averaging 26 (points), nine (assists), and eight (rebounds). That’s almost a triple-double every single night. Now he just happens to be getting them on the same night, with rebounds and assists.
“But he’s played the same way, he’s been in a great rhythm these last couple months and playing well.”
James’ 52 career regular season triple-doubles rank him seventh on the NBA’s all-time leader board. When asked about his statistics, “The Kid from Akron” had a humble reply, giving his teammates most of the credit.
“I’m just trying to put myself in position to help the team be successful and do it in all facets of the game and also stay efficient,” James said. “I’m going out and scoring the ball, obviously, rebounding and getting my guys involved. But it’s up to my guys to make the shots. I just try to put it on time and on target. Those guys make the shots and that’s why I’m able to get the assists.
“But I’m also just being efficient. That’s something I take pride in.”