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By Simon Evans
MIAMI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul hailed LeBron James as "almost unguardable" after the Miami star posted a fourth straight 30-point performance in the Heat's convincing 111-89 win on Friday.
James' feat equalled the franchise record with only team mate Dwyane Wade having made four such productive displays in succession, and his 30 points came from just three quarters of action and nine-of-11 shooting.
"LeBron is unbelievable," Paul told reporters. "He can play. When he is shooting the ball like that he is almost unguardable".
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said James was reaping the rewards for his intense approach to the game.
"If you had to grade shoot-a-rounds today, he was spectacular. This guy isn't shying away from work ethic or preparation. He's getting after it. My film sessions - he treats them like he is a coach," Spoelstra said.
Last year, James was named the league's Most Valuable Player, won the championship with the Heat, was named the finals MVP and then went to London and won a gold medal with the U.S. team.
It is evident that James has taken a conscious decision to push himself as hard as possible in order to avoid any sense of complacency.
On top of his extra gym sessions and cycling through the city to practices and games, James also puts in extra hours on honing his skills.
"If he sees one of the other guys out there doing something extra, then he will do it himself, find a way to incorporate that into his game too," Spoelstra added.
Earlier this season, James said he had a "vendetta" against himself and with his extra hours, that clearly is not just talk.
"I want to continue to get better. I'm not satisfied. I work on my game each and every day trying to figure out ways that I can get better," James said.
Spoelstra has noticed.
"LeBron is relentless. He is just continuing to work the game. He absolutely loves this game," he said.
James said he was not playing to any particular plan at the moment but was just enjoying making the most of opportunities that came his way.
"I go out, see what the pace of the game is bringing and you go out and figure it out on the fly. I don't predetermine anything," he said.
"If the defense backs up, I shoot. They come up on me, I drive. My team mates are open, I find my team mates. The game flows for me that way, and I'm just in that comfort place right now where I can go out and just play free." (Editing by John O'Brien)