CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — LeBron James matched Michael Jordan’s streak of 866 consecutive double-digit scoring games with 41 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Charlotte Hornets 118-105 on Wednesday night.
James finished 14 of 26 from the field and had 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Cavaliers, who remained ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.
James matched Jordan’s 17-year-old mark against the team Jordan owns in the second quarter when he scored his 10th point on a powerful alley-oop dunk off a pass from J.R. Smith.
The 33-year-old James, who began his streak on Jan. 6, 2007, can break Jordan’s record Friday night at home against the New Orleans Pelicans.
He wasn’t the only one making history.
Kemba Walker scored 21 points to pass Dell Curry as the Hornets’ career scoring leader.
Walker received a big hug from James after breaking the mark with 20 seconds left on a reverse layup. Walker broke down in tears a few moments later as he was being interviewed on the court.
“I wasn’t supposed to be here. … Anything is possible. If I can do it, anybody can,” the 6-foot Walker said to the crowd.
James scored 16 points in the second quarter and 13 in the third on 10-of-15 shooting, including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc as the Cavaliers built a 17-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets cut Cleveland’s 20-point lead to 11 points but James re-entered the game and made an immediate impact with a few more highlight reel plays.
He stole Frank Kaminsky’s pass near the top of the key and raced the length of the floor and threw down an emphatic one-handed dunk over Jeremy Lamb. Then with 3:09 left in the game, he grabbed Rodney Hood’s miss out of the air and dunked it hard, punctuating the Cavaliers’ victory.
James left the game to a standing ovation from the Charlotte crowd, which was filled with Cavaliers fans wearing James’ No. 23 jersey.
Jordan’s streak came with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards from 1986-2001.
James continued his dominance against the Hornets.
He had his way against Charlotte in two previous meetings this season, combining for 58 points, 22 rebounds and 21 assists.
It was also a strong bounce-back game for James, who was limited to 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting in a lopsided loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
Cavaliers: Shot 71 percent from the field in the second quarter and outscored the Hornets 42-28 to take control.
Hornets: Walker established a new team record with his 44th consecutive made free throw. That free throw also brought his career total to 1,999, which broke Gerald Wallace’s franchise record of 1,998.
Cavaliers: Host Pelicans on Friday night.
Hornets: Visit Wizards on Saturday.