MIAMI Amare Stoudemire and a fire extinguisher stole the show April 30, 2012 at AmericanAirlines Arena. But something else happened then that would prove to be notable.LeBron James didnt score 20 points.It was Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round series between Miami and New York. After his Knicks lost 104-94, a frustrated Stoudemire cut his left hand badly when whacking the glass surrounding a fire extinguisher and missed Game 3.Not too much has been heard from Stoudemire lately. He did play in the final two games of that series, won 4-1 by the Heat, but hes been out all of this season due to a knee injury.Plenty, though, has been going on with James. The Heat star spent his summer winning an NBA title and Olympic gold medal. And since he managed just 19 points that April night, James has scored 20 or more in 47 straight playoff and regular-season games."He can roll out of bed with one foot and score 20,'' said Miami center Chris Bosh. We expect it. I expect it every time.James streak could hit 50 Monday at Orlando, one day after his 28th birthday. It would mark the longest 20-point scoring streak of James career, topping the 49 in a row he managed with Cleveland during the regular season of 2007-08.But James wont be celebrating too much if he gets to the half-century mark. James really is telling the truth when he says he doesnt care all that much about scoring accomplishments.When I hear the stats, they are pretty cool, James said. But it doesnt mean much to me.So, if James reaches that milestone Monday, dont count on anybody grabbing the game ball and writing 50 on it. Still, what James is doing these days is pretty impressive. There are few athletes in any sport who can match his consistency.James has scored 20 or more points in all 26 Heat games, the longest such streak to start a season since Bostons Kevin McHale went for 28 in 1986-87. Next on the list is San Antonios George Gervin, whose 45 in a row to start 1981-82 is the longest spurt since the NBA-ABA merger of 1976.James has reached 20 points in 31 straight overall regular-season games. The last time he didnt get there was April 13, 2012, when he scored, you guessed it, 19 points against Charlotte.If there was anything cool about No. 19, other than Johnny Unitas having worn it, consider the publicity this streak might be getting. James has scored 19 or more points in 64 straight regular season or playoff games.I strive to be great, and thats my motivation each and every night I step on the floor, James, who is averaging 25.6 points for the 20-6 Heat, said when asked about his tremendous consistency. I want to be the best player I can be (every) night and I dont take it for granted.It might be a clich. But in an era when some superstars take nights off, James is a throwback.James recently said he could relate to a comment made by Joe DiMaggio. As to why he always played hard, the legendary New York Yankee once said, Because there is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best.Its no coincidence DiMaggio in 1941 had a record 56-game hitting streak. In case youre wondering, James can reach 56 straight 20-point games on Jan. 12 at Sacramento and 57 on Jan. 14 at Utah.LeBron is going to break so many records and be in so many records before his career is over, said Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Hes special.Actually, James does have a ways to go to break the record for most consecutive 20-point games. The mark for playoff and regular-season games in a row is 141 by Wilt Chamberlain from March 1961 to January 1963. That stretch also included the regular-season record of 126 in a row.But James might just keep rolling out of bed for a while to get his usual 20.Who's Hot: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has been seeking more consistency from point guard Mario Chalmers. Hes starting to get it. Spoelstra had 20 points Tuesday against Oklahoma City and 17 Wednesday at Charlotte to mark the first time all season hes had consecutive double-figure scoring games. Rio has been playing better the last 10 days, two weeks, even though people may not notice it from the box scores, Spoelstra said.Who's Not: Forward Udonis Haslems job isnt to score, but the Heat would like more than hes provided lately. Haslem has averaged just 2.6 points in his past five games, including two scoreless outings, while shooting 5-of-17 (29.4 percent). At least he has had rebounding outings of nine, seven and six during the stretch.Three thoughts1. ith a 103-97 win Tuesday, the Heat further reminded the Oklahoma City Thunder who still is king in Miami, and it isnt just The King. Miami now has beaten the Thunder five straight times at home, including three times in a 4-1 Finals win last June. Until the Thunder can win at American Airlines Arena, they might not yet have arrived as a true challenger to the throne. It was a good win for us to put a little more doubt in their mind, Chalmers after the latest victory.2. Heat hopes are dimming in their quest to become the first team since the 1989-90 Lakers to have three All-Star starters. In fan totals announced Thursday, Bosh has fallen more 20,000 votes behind Boston center Kevin Garnett (328,716 to 308,194) in the battle for the third and final starting frontcourt spot in the East. James, the leading vote-getter among frontcourt players, and Wade, tops among guards, are locks to start. The last time a team had three All-Star starters, the Lakers placed guard Magic Johnson and forwards James Worthy and A.C. Green in the 1990 game in Miami.3. James sees so many stars at NBA games you wouldnt think much would get him excited, least of all a guy who lives in Charlotte. But on Wednesday, retired pro wrestler Ric Flair walked into Time Warner Cable Arena in his hometown, and it got James attention. When I was a kid, I loved wrestling,'' James said the 105-92 win over the Bobcats "He was one of the guys I loved, too. I think hes like one of creators of what we call swag these days, with the Rolexes and the stretch limos and all the girls and all that stuff. Hes like the creator of swag. So there you have it. The King admires The Nature Boy.
Quotes of the week
"If I wanted to, I could lead the league in scoring, but that's not my job here. My job is to do a lot of everythingrebounding, passing and defending so that takes away from my scoring. I've (won the scoring title) before. I'm capable of doing it, but my game sometimes doesn't allow me to have those big nights."
-- James, who won his only scoring title in 2007-08, and ranks fifth this season.
"He could average 37 points a game, realistically I think.
-- Spoelstra, on James.
We want to take care of our business away from our arena. Weve been at home for a long time but we know that for the next three weeks well be out for the majority of the time. Regardless of who were playing, we want to start building that mentality.
-- Spoelstra, whose Heat on Wednesday at Charlotte began a stretch of 10 of 13 games on the road after playing 12 of 14 at home.
Theyve been the most consistent team... I wouldnt stop short of saying theyre the best team in the league right now.
-- Heat forward Shane Battier, speaking the Heats win over the Thunder.Numbers game
1 Shot from 2-point range taken this season by guard James Jones. The only one came when he hit a long jumper with his foot on the 3-point line Wednesday at Charlotte. Jones is 6-of-16 on 3-pointers in addition to having made that only 2-pointer.
10,000 Career-point total reached by guard Mike Miller after hitting a second-quarter 3-pointer Tuesday against Oklahoma City. Thats pretty good for a scrub, Miller quipped.
35.0 Points James has averaged in his five career NBA games on his Dec. 30 birthday. James, though, has his birthday off this season, when the Heat will be in Orlando in preparation for the next nights game against the Magic.
If you want to see the Heat play for cheap, this weekend is a good time. Tickets on StubHub.com were listed as low as 22 for Miamis game Friday at Detroit and as low as 24 for Saturdays game at Milwaukee. But the games get pricier next week as the Heat have that Monday game at Orlando in this seasons first Battle of Florida this season and then Wednesday are home to Dallas.
Tower of Power?
No doubt. The Heat will begin 2013 just as they did 2012. Theyre the team to beat for the NBA title. James said he wasnt worried two weeks ago when the Heat were in a stretch of having lost three of five. As it turned out, there was no need to cry or pout then as Santa Claus was about to come to town. Miami now has won six games in a row.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson