CLEVELAND -- LeBron James passed Michael Jordan on Friday night for consecutive games with at least 10 points, doing so for the 867th straight time in the Cavaliers' 107-102 win against the New Orleans Pelicans.
James reached the mark early, throwing down a two-handed dunk with 5:59 remaining in the first quarter to give the Cavaliers star 11 points for the game.
He was honored during a brief stoppage in play as the crowd at sold-out Quicken Loans Arena, which included Justin Timberlake, stood and applauded as James was handed the game ball.
"It will probably go in my trophy case with a lot of accomplishments in my life," James said of the memento. "That's a good moment, a special moment not only for myself but for my family and for so many kids that look up to me for inspiration, to know that you can actually go out there and do it. ...
"[You] know, where I've come from, brought up 30 minutes south of here, and the statistics is always stacked up against you, and for me to be in this position today, being able to accomplish something that a lot of people thought would not happen again or be able to break a record like that. It means a lot for me, and it means more to the youth that kind of needs hope."
James also spoke about the run after shootaround Friday morning.
"It's not like I set out to say that I want to be the No. 1 in scoring 10 points, double digits or consecutive games or whatever that and whatnot, but anytime, like, a statistical category comes up and I'm able to accomplish something like that, I mean, it's pretty incredible," he said. "I think it's been like 11 years that I've been able to accomplish this feat, so I've been able to take care of my body, that's one, and I've been around some great teammates and coaches and two organizations that have allowed me to be who I am, so that's two, and just going out and playing for the joy of the game.
"So to be able to tie Mike the last game and have an opportunity [to] set the record tonight is a pretty cool achievement."
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was asked how he would put James' accomplishment into words.
"I think what it says is that those two guys pretty much stand alone, OK?" he said. Gentry also argued James' case for winning a fifth league MVP, which would tie Jordan for the second most all time. (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is first, with six.)
"You really could make a strong argument for him being the MVP of the league," Gentry said. "Obviously with what Houston is doing, probably James Harden will do it, but if it ended being LeBron James, I don't think anybody will go, 'Oh, my gosh.'"
James' teammate Rodney Hood had an "Oh, my gosh" reaction of his own, however, when they stopped the game in the first quarter to recognize the moment.
"It was crazy," Hood said. "I wasn't thinking about it. I wondered why everybody was clapping and stuff."
The last time James didn't score at least 10 points in a game was Jan. 5, 2007; he had eight points on 3-for-13 shooting that night in a Cavs win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Jordan's streak lasted from March 1986 until December 2001.
Abdul-Jabbar is third on the double-digit streak list (787 games). Among active players, James Harden is second behind James (257) and DeMarcus Cousins is third (162), according to ESPN Stats & Information.
While James has a sizable lead over his current competition, he doesn't think his record is untouchable.
"I think records are always meant to be broken," the 33-year-old James said. "At the end of the day, I think a lot of people didn't believe Mike's record would ever be broken, so who am I to say that mine won't be. ..."
Tristan Thompson said that James' streak will extend far past 867, though.
"He can do that 'til he's done playing," Thompson said. "Even when he's like Year 20, he can just post up and drop 10 points. That number is just going to keep climbing, just going to keep climbing. It's the way he plays. Takes care of himself, takes care of his body. How great a shot he's got. Even as his career gets older, moves to the 4 and bangs with the big boys, he'll still be fine, he'll still be faster than most of them, he'll still shoot it better than most of them. That number is going to keep going. He can do it 'til he's tired of it. It's going to be on him."
James reached another milestone. He scored 27 points, which ties Kobe Bryant for the third-most 20-point games in league history, at 941.
And another mark is in reach for James, too. The next time James scores at least 30 points, he will tie Abdul-Jabbar (429) for the fifth-most 30-point games in league history.
"I'm just, I'm really speechless," said Cavs acting head coach Larry Drew. "I don't know in my lifetime if I've ever seen another guy like that -- that's that durable and can get it done every single night the way he's gotten it done. And to go 867 consecutive games where he's in double figures, man, that's just, what can you say about that? That's just amazing. And he's been able to, as I've said before, he does it on both ends, and he sustains. He certainly, he's more than just a special player."