LeBron James becomes 3rd player to score at least 2,000 points in 10 different seasons

NEW YORK -- LeBron James became just the third player in NBA history to record 10-plus seasons of 2,000 points or more in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 121-114 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

A made free throw midway through the third quarter gave James the mark, and he joined Karl Malone (12) and Michael Jordan (11) in the exclusive club.

The 33-year-old James, who is in his 15th season, finished with 37 points on 14-for-19 shooting, 10 rebounds and 8 assists Sunday.

The performance was merely an extension of James' hot play of late. Since a Jan. 23 loss to a depleted San Antonio Spurs team, James is averaging 28.7 points on 55 percent shooting, 9.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists while the Cavs have gone 17-10.

"How do I feel? I feel great," James said after the Nets game.

In the game, James bounced off the Barclays Center court for three dunks, including one in traffic near the end of the first quarter that brought some of the Brooklyn crowd to its feet.

That dunk -- over the Nets' Joe Harris and Dante Cunningham -- was James' 23rd dunk this season on a contested drive, according to Second Spectrum. Coming into Sunday, James ranked second in the league in that category, behind the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (25 contested dunks on drives). James, of course, is 10 years older than the 23-year-old Bucks star. The Philadelphia 76ers' 21-year-old rookie Ben Simmons is third with 21.

The dunk over Harris caused the Cavs' bench to go crazy, with Kevin Love leaving his seat to jump into the stanchion holding up the hoop as if he were giving it a chest bump.

"I wasn't out there for the Portland game when Bron had the dunk over [Jusuf] Nurkic, but I was out there today," Love said. "I was just having fun with it. Fun to see, love that type of play."

James' overall level of play has his team talking about his candidacy for MVP this season. It would be the fifth of his career, which would tie him with Jordan for second-most of all time (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won it six times).

"Well, I mean, you just look at the stat sheet," said Cavs acting head coach Larry Drew. "It's just not about points. It's what he's doing on the boards, it's what he's doing from an assists standpoint. He's just a force. He's a force, and he has put up MVP numbers without a doubt."

Love, who has fit back in seamlessly after missing nearly seven weeks with a fractured bone in his left hand, offered more praise of James.

"It's just who he is," Love said. "His makeup is to just go out there and make the right play. Play excellent basketball. He always is trying to get us involved while he asserts his dominance on the offensive end -- whether that's scoring the basketball, getting the extra possession on the offensive glass or always being a distributor, so he's special."

James' talent was on display Sunday, as his game-sealing, 31-foot, step-back 3 with 39.7 seconds remaining to squelch a rally by the Nets extended Cleveland's win streak to five games.

His focus now spins ahead to the Cavs' final nine regular-season games before the playoffs begin.

"We're just trying to get better," James said. "Just trying to get better. Even with everything that's going on with our ballclub, from our coach being out to some of our players being out either because of personal reasons or for injuries, we're just trying to continue to get better, whoever's in the lineup. That's our goal."