NBA Wrap: LeBron passes Jordan, Heat into playoff spot

The Miami Heat moved into the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after beating the Charlotte Hornets as LeBron James passed Michael Jordan's record.

LeBron James moved in front of Michael Jordan and into fourth place on the all-time scoring list.   -  AFP

The Miami Heat is well-placed to make the playoffs in Dwyane Wade's final NBA season after a win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday. With Miami's 91-84 win, Heat have moved into the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Kelly Olynyk's 22 points and 11 rebounds and Hassan Whiteside's 18 and 15 off the bench helped the Heat grab the win. Kemba Walker and Frank Kaminsky each had 20 for Charlotte.

 

In Los Angeles, LeBron James moved in front of Michael Jordan and into fourth place on the all-time scoring list. James passed Jordan with a lay-up in the second quarter of the Lakers' game against the Denver Nuggets. It was the Lakers star's 32,293rd and 32,294th career points.

It took James 1,190 games to reach that mark while Jordan needed 1,072.

“A lot of stuff I've done in my career -- this ranks right up there at the top with winning the championship,” James said. “It's just crazy, to be honest. It's beyond crazy.”

“It was very emotional. A lot of things were going on inside me at the time,” he said. “I didn't want to show what was going on behind that towel.”

 

“For a kid from Akron, Ohio that needed inspiration and some type of positive influence, MJ was that guy for me. I watched him from afar, wanted to be like MJ,” James said. “Me and my friends, all we ever talked about was MJ. He was everything."

“Hopefully I can inspire the next kid like myself.”

LeBron on meeting Michael Jordan

“It was like meeting Jesus. That's what meeting MJ was like, because I never thought I'd ever meet him. He was like lightning in a bottle for me.

MJ had a lot to do with me making it out (of poverty) as well as my mother. But Mike had no idea what he was doing for a kid growing up a 45-minute flight from Chicago when he was doing all that work.”

 

Doncic, Drummond delight

Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic had 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists but Dallas fell to the Washington Wizards 132-123. Bradley Beal had 30 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the win.

 

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond had 31 points and 15 rebounds in a 131-114 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and nine rebounds in the San Antonio Spurs' 111-104 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

 

Kevin Love looks healthy as he scored 24 points and added 16 rebounds, but the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Brooklyn Nets 113-107.

 

Griffin struggles

The Pistons' Blake Griffin has been great this season but he was not at his best as he scored just nine points on four-of-13 shooting. The nine points is his lowest output since he tallied six in a win over the Hawks on November 9.

LaVine lifts Bulls

Zach LaVine scored 39 points while adding five rebounds and four assists. But, it was his layup with 1.5 seconds left that fans will remember because it gave the Chicago Bulls a 108-107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Wednesday's results

Miami Heat 91-84 Charlotte Hornets
Detroit Pistons 131-114 Minnesota Timberwolves
Washington Wizards 132-123 Dallas Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs 111-104 Atlanta Hawks
Brooklyn Nets 113-107 Cleveland Cavaliers
Chicago Bulls 108-107 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 114-104 New Orleans Pelicans
Phoenix Suns 107-96 New York Knicks
Boston Celtics 111-109 Sacramento Kings
Denver Nuggets 115-99 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Pacers at Bucks

Everyone counted the Indiana Pacers out when Victor Oladipo went down for the season with an injury, but this team have just kept on winning as they have gone 10-8 without him and remain in third place in the Eastern Conference. They are 10-4 in their last 14 games. The Milwaukee Bucks, though, have an MVP candidate – Giannis Antetokounmpo – and the best team (record-wise) in all of the NBA.