With the Cleveland Cavaliers hurting badly (Kyrie Irving, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert and Mo Williams are all injured), one might have expected LeBron James to shoulder the scoring load in Monday night’s game against the Orlando Magic. Instead, LeBron was at his most point forward-y self, with 15 points (his second-lowest scoring total of the season) and 13 assists (tying his season-high).
Kevin Love was the biggest beneficiary on the night, scoring a season-high 34 points. During the second quarter, he scored 17-straight points for Cleveland and finished with 20 in the period. But even though Love was filling it up, the night was about LeBron, for the piece of history he made while dishing for a three from Love.
LeBron passed Norm Nixon for 25th on the all-time assists leaderboard, making him only the second player to be in the top 25 of both scoring and assists. The only other player to do so is the legendary Oscar Robertson. And it’s fitting that the two are at the top together, considering LeBron may be the best combined scorer and passer since the Big O (who turns 77 today — happy birthday, Oscar!).
Of course, at 30 years old, LeBron is far from finished. Robertson sits at sixth all-time in dishes and 11th in points, and one would wager that James will have passed him in both by the time he hangs up his sneakers.