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LeBron stepping up his game

TBO.com
Associated Press
The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 08:55 PM

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MIAMI -

After a recent Miami Heat practice in Washington, Ray Allen told the coaching staff he was skipping the bus ride and running back to the hotel.

LeBron James' ears perked up.

With that, the three-time NBA MVP went looking for his running shoes.

"LeBron said, 'If you're going to do that, I'm going to do that too. I'm not going to be outdone by somebody else. I'm going to run,' " Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "So he gets very competitive with things like that. If other people are working on their game, he takes notice."

That approach must be working. James' game — already considered among the best in the NBA — might be better than ever right now.

He's made 37 of his last 47 shots in his last 111 minutes, a torrid 79-percent clip. For the season, he's shooting a career-best 56 percent so far, easily on pace for the sixth straight season of improvement in that department. His 3-point shooting, at 42 percent this season, is much improved. He's shooting 70 percent inside the paint.

"I want to continue to push the button, continue to get better, maximize my potential and not waste an opportunity," James said.

HAWKS: The team is optimistic guard Lou Williams will be ready for training camp following reconstructive surgery on his right knee. Williams' surgery was performed Thursday in Gulf Breeze, leaving about eight months before the start of next season's camp.

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