LeBron James looks to join another record-setting group

English: LeBron James in New York City to disc...

LeBron James (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Going into last night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James had an NBA-record six consecutive games with at least 30 points while shooting 60% of better from the field. In last night’s game, James streak ended when he scored 39 points, but shot “only” 58% on his field goal attempts.

Fifty games into the 2012-13 NBA season, James is averging 27.6 points per game and shooting 56.6 percent from the field, which would be the highest FG percentage of his career. With these numbers, James is approaching a rare group in NBA history.

If the season ended today, James would become the 14th player in NBA history to finish the season with an average of 25-plus points per game and a shooting percentage of 55% or higher. The last player to reach these two numbers in a season was Amare Stoudemire in 2007-08 when he shot 59% while averaging 25.2 points per game with the Phoenix Suns.

First, here’s a look at the players who have in a season shot 58% or higher while averaging 25 or more points per game. Could James join this group this season?

Player, season, team, FG pct/pts per game

Kevin McHale, 1986-87, Boston, 60.4/26.1
Charles Barkley, 1989-90, Philadelphia, 60.0/25.2
Shaquille O’Neal, 1993-94, Orlando, 59.9/29.3
Amare Stoudemire, 2007-08, Phoenix, 59.0/25.2
Charles Barkley, 1987-88, Philadelphia, 58.7/28.3
Shaquille O’Neal, 1997-98, LA Lakers, 58.4/28.3
Shaquille O’Neal, , 1994-95, Orlando, 58.3/29.3
Adrian Dantley, 1982-82, Utah, 58.0/30.7

Let’s go back to the numbers I first mentioned, 25 points per game and 55% shooting. Those numbers have been reached 37 times by 13 different players in NBA history. Here are the players who accomplished those numbers in multiple seasons.

Seasons with 25-plus points per game and 55-plus percent shooting

10: Shaquille O’Neal
6: Adrian Dantley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4: Charles Barkley
2: Amare Stoudemire, Karl Malone

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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