Miami Heat's leading man LeBron James has shared his admiration of Kevin Durant following his remarkable 54-point game, while declaring that he will make every effort to step up his scoring efforts in a bid to match the red-hot Thunder star.
James dropped 34 points on Saturday night as the Heat secured a second straight win with a 104-96 win over the Bobcats, but his heroics were put firmly in the shade by a highlight-reel effort by Durant for the Thunder 24 hours beforehand.
Durant is averaging 30.6 point-per-game in a hot streak that shows no sign of letting up, with James forced to concede that on current form his main MVP adversary is just about unstoppable.
He told ESPN.com: "I love when I see KD do something like that. It gives me an incentive. I don't get that many shots around here, but I might be able to do a little something. I might be able to get a couple of dunks.
"I do a lot of checking and seeing what guys have done overnight. After every game, I always go and see what guys did. I didn't have to look too far to see what KD did last night. As soon as I looked at my phone, a family member of mine said, 'KD had 54, you only had 21. You stink.' So, there it is.
"Once a scorer like that gets going, you ain't going to stop him. I saw like the last 20 points he had, and they were all contested jumpers. He was hitting, barely touching the net. When you're in a zone like that, it doesn't matter as a defender. There's nothing you can do about it. It was a big-time, big-time game for him."
The 29-year-old is shooting a career-high 58.6% from the field but has failed to match his numbers from previous MVP seasons in all other areas, although an average of 25.8 points-per-game still represents a very healthy total in a star-studded Heat roster.
Durant and James will come face-to-face later this month, when leading title contenders Heat face the Thunder in a marquee match-up on January 30th.