LeBron James' latest triple-double is no more.
After reviewing the tape of the Cleveland Cavaliers' 118-111 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, the NBA league office removed one rebound and one assist from James' line of 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
The triple-double would've been the 48th of James' career (including the postseason), though its validity was doubted even before the NBA adjusted his stats. James' seventh assist came with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter, when point guard Kyrie Irving finished a fastbreak layup. But as pointed out by The Big Lead, James' involvement in the play was essentially limited to a tipped rebound. Tristan Thompson caught the deflection, and then found Irving up the court to trigger the fastbreak.
The change came through the league's customary review of games to check the accuracy of statistics. The two plays in question were:
• With 3:27 remaining in the third quarter, James was credited with an assist on a play in which he tipped a rebound to Tristan Thompson. Thompson then passed to Kyrie Irving who dribbled the ball from half the floor and scored.
• Then, at the 6:03 mark of the fourth quarter, James was incorrectly credited with an offensive rebound when he tipped a blocked shot back to teammate Mike Miller.
Statistical miscues aside, James' performance was key as it gave the Cavs their first back-to-back wins of the season. Cleveland started the season 1-3 before stringing together wins against Denver and New Orleans. James currently ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 24.8 points per game.
Another worthwhile milestone for the Cavs: Monday's game was the first this season where the new "Big Three" -- James, Irving and Kevin Love -- each topped 20 points.
- Mike Fiammetta