TORONTO — LeBron James reached his latest milestone in signature style.
James scored a season-high 35 points, Dwyane Wade had 20 and the Miami Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 104-95 on Tuesday for their first road victory in three tries this season.
Ray Allen scored 14 points for Miami, which lost at Philadelphia on Oct. 30 and was beaten 101-100 at Brooklyn on Nov. 1.
James also had a season-high eight rebounds and handed out eight assists as Miami topped 100 points for the fifth straight game, extending the Heat’s team-record run to begin the season.
With a putback dunk at 2:31 of the first quarter, James became the fifth player in NBA history to score 10 points or more in 500 consecutive games.
“When I see a stat like that, I’m like ‘Wow,’ because I know the history of the game, I know the guys who paved the way for myself and my teammates,” James said. “To be in such a great class like that, it’s an amazing feeling.”
James said he was humbled to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (with streaks of 787 and 508 games), Michael Jordan (866), Karl Malone (575) and Moses Malone (526) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
“That’s apt company,” teammate Shane Battier said.
It was the 162nd time during the streak that James has reached 10 points in the opening quarter.
“I just go out and play every night, and those are the results,” he said.
James has reached double figures in every game since being held to eight points at Milwaukee on Jan. 5, 2007. He scored 19 at New Jersey the following night.
“In practice, during shootaround and during games, he’s a consistent player, period,” Wade said. “I’m not surprised by that. Just more surprised at how he’s been able to keep himself out there on the floor.”
Calling James “one of a kind,” Battier praised the four-time MVP for his tireless conditioning work.
“You don’t really see the work he puts in, not only on his game but his body, to keep himself at the highest level in the world, really,” Battier said. “It takes amazing dedication and resolve. That’s partly why LeBron is LeBron, that’s why he’s great, because he has that resolve to stay at a high level.”
James has more regular-season games of scoring at least 50 points (nine) than nights where he’s scored less than 10 (eight). Factor playoff games into the mix, and he’s reached double figures 898 times in 907 career games.
“That’s not something that any average player can do,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Part of his greatness is consistency. Night in, night out, you know what to expect.”
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