Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/17/13
OAKLAND -- LeBron James surpassed two NBA milestones in the same game Wednesday night while leading the Miami Heat to a much-needed 92-75 victory over the Golden State Warriors. James recorded his 5,000th career assist with 6:42 remaining in the first quarter, then became the youngest player in NBA history to surpass the 20,000-point mark later in the period, spearheading an early pull-away that allowed the Heat to snap a two-game losing streak. The milestone hoop, which came with 2:45 remaining in the half, allowed James to become just the 13th player in league history to record at least 20,000 points and 5,000 assists in his career. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are the only other active players to have doubled up on those milestones. At 28 years and 17 days old, James was more than a full year younger than the previous youngest player -- Bryant (29 years, 122 days) -- to reach 20,000 points. Only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan join the active duo as having tallied 20,000 points before the age of 30. James' historic hoop came in classic fashion. The Heat cleared out space on the perimeter for him to attack David Lee, and the versatile forward worked his way left to right to within 12 feet of the hoop before elevating, hanging in the air and delivering a dead-on shot. James finished with 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, which was coming off a 104-97 loss Monday at Utah that pushed them under .500 (8-9) on the road. James had 21 points, six assists, four rebounds and a steal in the first half, which the Heat dominated at both ends of the floor en route to a 52-38 lead over a Warriors team playing without star point guard Stephen Curry. Curry was the victim of what Warriors coach Mark Jackson labeled a "freak" accident during the team's morning shootaround, turning his troublesome right ankle while stepping on a teammate's foot as he chased down a loose ball. X-rays were negative, giving the Warriors hope Curry will be ready to return for Friday's game at San Antonio. He missed 37 games last season as a result of spraining the same ankle on a number of occasions. The win allowed the Heat to avenge a 97-95 home loss to the Warriors on Dec. 12. The Warriors hit 46.3 percent of their shots and nine 3-pointers that night; they connected on just 36.3 percent overall and three 3s in the rematch. The blowout was just what the doctor ordered for Miami, which has a quick turnaround Thursday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Even with a rival on the immediate horizon, there was no coast in the Heat on this night. Its defense frustrated the Curry-less Warriors into 13 first-half turnovers, with Curry's replacement in the starting lineup, Jarrett Jack, coughing up the ball five times. The Heat turned the 13 mistakes into 16 points in the half, whereas the Warriors never capitalized on any of Miami's four turnovers. James' milestone assist came early on as the Heat was struggling for the only time all night. The 5,000th occurred on a highlight-reel lob to Dwyane Wade at the rim, just Miami's third basket in the first 5:18. The hoop produced three of Miami's 15 points in transition in the first 24 minutes. The Warriors, meanwhile, didn't record a single fast-break point in the half. If the Warriors had any hopes of extending the Heat, they ended in the first four minutes of the second half. Golden State went four-plus minutes without a point to start the third quarter, falling behind by 27 points following a 13-0 run. The Miami lead was 34 by period's end and both teams emptied their benches well before the fourth period began. Wade, benched late in Monday's loss to the Jazz, overcame a shaky start to hit half his 12 shots during a 15-point, eight-rebound, six-assist effort that complemented James. Jack overcame the five turnovers to score a team-high 16 points for the Warriors, who have lost four of five since an emotional, 21-point home win over the Clippers gave the club a season-best 22-10 record. Golden State's Lee (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Carl Landry (10 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles before retiring early in the final period. NOTES: The Warriors announced before the game that Brandon Rush, who tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in the home opener Nov. 2, underwent surgery on the ACL on Wednesday. The 10-week delay was the result of a decision to allow the MCL to repair itself without surgery before undergoing the major procedure on the ACL. The Warriors hope to have their standout sixth man available for the start of training camp in 8 1/2 months. ... Asked if he feared Curry's injury would linger after having watched him miss so many games last season, Jackson assured, "I'm not a doctor, but I can't imagine it turning into something more (than a game or two)." ... Shane Battier returned to the Heat lineup after having missed the first three games of the club's Western swing with a strained right hamstring. ... According to research done by ESPN, Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been on the receiving end of the most James assists with 785 baskets. ... James took the court having recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game 13 times this season, three fewer than the Warriors' Lee.
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