Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

James's Foul Streak Is Just the Star's Latest Accomplishment

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

James's Foul Streak Is Just the Star's Latest Accomplishment

Article excerpt

The Miami Heat star has conquered virtually every obstacle put in front of him. With little left to accomplish, perhaps he will try for Oscar Robertson's achievement: a triple-double for a season.

Occasionally, a player in the National Basketball Association comes so close to perfection in one aspect of the game that he turns his attention to another skill. Think of Wilt Chamberlain leading the league in assists or Michael Jordan eschewing the slam dunk competition for the 3-point contest. For LeBron James, who has conquered virtually every obstacle put in front of him, the next frontier appears to be a complete avoidance of personal fouls.

On Tuesday, in a rematch of last season's N.B.A. Finals, James committed three fouls in a victory against Oklahoma City, ending a string of six consecutive games with no fouls and matching his total over the previous nine games. James, a three-time most valuable player, has also scored 20 or more points in each game this season, but for him, the no-foul streak was the one that should receive the attention.

"The foul thing is more impressive to me," James said last week. "I don't care about scoring as much."

His streak, which covered six entire games and encompassed 254 minutes, 7 seconds on the court over the course of eight games, ended when he fouled the Thunder's Serge Ibaka on a dunk attempt.

During the streak, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each committed 13 fouls, with Wade averaging nearly eight fewer minutes a game than James, and Bosh missing a game with an injury. James's previous career high for consecutive games without a foul was five, set in March 2009.

James has always kept his fouls to a minimum. His average of 1.3 per 36 minutes before a game Saturday against Milwaukee is a career best, but he has averaged more than 2.0 per 36 minutes only once in his career and averaged as few as 1. …

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