The legendary Oscar Robertson is the only player in the NBA's 60-year history to have averaged a triple-double over the course of a season. If he keeps playing like he has the last two games, LeBron James might have a shot to join him.
James looks for another dominant performance on Tuesday as the Cleveland Cavaliers try to keep the Milwaukee Bucks winless on the road.
After leading his team to the NBA finals last season, James is averaging 29.2 points along with career highs of 8.0 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game in 2007-08. He's been particularly spectacular in the Cavaliers' last two games, averaging 39.5 points, 11.5 assists and 11.5 rebounds.
James has two triple-doubles this season and has been one assist shy of two others.
Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 11.4 assists and 11.0 rebounds in 1961-62 for the Cincinnati Royals, and James obviously has a long way to go to approach those statistical feats - not to mention 72 more games. But following his 40-point, 10-rebound, nine-assist effort Friday in Cleveland's 99-94 win over Utah, it seems if anyone could match Robertson, James would be the most logical candidate.
"He took over," Utah's Deron Williams said. "He's one of those special players, who once he gets going, you can't stop him."
The Cavaliers trailed by six points after three quarters, but James scored 18 of his team's 31 points in the fourth to help Cleveland avoid a third straight loss.
While James' offensive numbers have always been there, the area of his game that may be the most maligned has been his defense. But in his fifth year in the league, James has started to commit himself more on the defensive end and he leads Cleveland in steals (18) and blocks (17).
James stripped the ball from Jazz star forward Carlos Boozer with 12.8 seconds left to preserve Friday's win.
"He's done that time after time for us this year," said Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, "and hopefully sooner or later, people will start talking about him on that end of the floor instead of just the 34 (points) he had in the second half."
Milwaukee (4-4) is looking for a season-high third straight win following home victories over Memphis and Atlanta, but enters this contest with an 0-4 road record. The Bucks have given up an average of 105.3 points on the road, compared to 88.0 at home while going 4-0.
On Saturday, Milwaukee nearly blew a 15-point lead in the second half but hung on to beat Atlanta 105-96. Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut both scored 21 points to lead the Bucks.
"It shouldn't have even been that close," Bogut said. "It should have been a 20-point win, but you have to give the Hawks credit for fighting back. We have to learn how to put teams away."
All five Milwaukee starters, including rookie Yi Jianlian (10.3 ppg), have double-figure scoring averages, led by Redd's 22.8. But like James, Redd recently impressed his coach with another aspect of his game. Redd held Hawks leading scorer Joe Johnson to 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting.
"Mike stepped up and wanted to guard Joe Johnson tonight," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "He's really doing a nice job defensively, team concept wise and one-on-one stuff."
The Cavaliers have won seven straight overall against Milwaukee and eight in a row at home over the Bucks, who have not won in Cleveland since the pre-James era, on Jan. 6, 2003.
James has averaged 28.9 points in 15 career games against the Bucks, while Redd has scored 21.1 per game against the Cavaliers.
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