WASHINGTON, USA (UPDATED) – Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James grabbed another piece of NBA history on Friday, November 11 (Saturday in Manila), becoming the youngest player ever to score 27,000 points.
James, 31 years and 317 days old, needed 7 points to reach the milestone going into the Cavaliers game against the Wizards in Washington.
He scored 11 in the first quarter to surpass former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who was 32 years and 160 days old when he reached 27,000.
James finished with 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the 105-94 victory over the Wizards – and got a post-game celebratory dousing with water by his teammates.
"They lied to me," James said of the little locker-room festivity. "They said Coach (Tyronn) Lue had accomplished something and they were going to douse him.
"I was kind of surprised... and they rushed me. Got all my clothes wet but it's my guys.
"It's always great to be able to accomplish that with a great group of guys."
For 4-time NBA Most Valuable Player James it's another top mark. He's first all-time in assists by a forward and the only player with at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a season for at least 7 seasons.
"That's NBA history, man," Kyrie Irving, who led the Cavaliers with 29 points, said of James's latest milestone. "It's truly an honor to be part of the journey like that where you see someone put in so much work every single day and accomplishment after accomplishment and he's really just humble about it.
"Youngest player to 27,000 points – it's an unbelievable feat," Irving said.
JR Smith scored 17 points and Kevin Love added 14 points and 16 rebounds for Cleveland, who bounced back from their first defeat of the season to improve to 7-1.
Up 58-56 at halftime, Cleveland held Washington to 38 points in the second half as they pulled away.
John Wall scored 28 points for the Wizards but was held scoreless for the third quarter and most of the fourth.
"We have to get back to our defensive ways and coach Lue challenged us tonight," James said. "We definitely picked it up in the second half."
The victory came a day after the reigning champion Cavaliers were feted at the White House by US President Barack Obama.
"It's something that, me personally, I will never forget," Lue said. "And hopefully for the guys, they feel the same way. A lot of guys were humbled by the experience.
"When you get a chance to meet the president of the United States and he knows your first name and knows your stats and how you play and who you are as a person, it just means a lot."
But James said the Cavaliers are far from satisfied.
"We're still motivated to continue to get better," he said. "We love playing the game of basketball with one another. It's fun for us. We just want to continue to challenge each other on a day-to-day basis and see how far our ceiling can go, how far our elevator can go. It's a good start for us."
Raptors trounce Hornets
The Cavaliers are alone atop the Eastern Conference after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Charlotte Hornets 113-111 thanks to guard DeMar DeRozan's late-game heroics.
DeRozan scored 10 of his 34 points in a decisive fourth quarter as the Raptors snapped the Hornets' 4-game winning streak.
Toronto led by as many as 16 points before the Hornets unleashed a 16-0 second-half scoring run.
Point guard Kemba Walker scored a season-high 40 points – with 10 rebounds and 6 assists – for the Hornets, who led by as many as 10 in the second half before the Raptors roared back.
"We're an experienced team at this point," DeRozan said. "We understand how to win, what it takes to win whether you're down or whether you're up. We thrive in moments like this."
Elsewhere in the East, rookie center Joel Embiid scored a season-high 25 points to help the Philadelphia 76ers notch their first victory of the season, 109-105 in overtime over the Indiana Pacers.
Embiid converted the go-ahead 3-point play with 55.1 seconds left in the extra period.
He missed 12 of 18 shots from the floor in the game, but made 12 of his 14 free-throws and scored 14 of his points in the final 4:05 of regulation and overtime.
"We all understand there's a long way to go, but we got our first win and the (locker) room feels great about themselves," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "And I'm very happy for them."
The Portland Trail Blazers also worked overtime for a victory. Damian Lillard scored 36 points and CJ McCollum added 31 for the Blazers, who edged the Sacramento Kings 122-120.
In Oklahoma City, Blake Griffin scored 25 points to help the Los Angeles clippers to a 110-108 victory over the Thunder.
The Clippers, off to the best start in club history, improved to a league-leading 8-1, avenging their only defeat of the season, an 85-83 setback against the Thunder on November 2.
"It was a big-time trust game for us," point guard Chris Paul said after the Clippers weathered the Thunder's blazing start. "We just stuck to the game plan."
The score was knotted at 50-50 at halftime. An 8-1 scoring run early in the third quarter put the Clippers ahead and they took an 82-74 lead into the final period.
But the Thunder wouldn't go away and Russell Westbrook tied the game at 102-102 with a three-pointer with just over two minutes to play.
The Clippers answered with a dunk by DeAndre Jordan and a 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford.
The Thunder battled back, but Westbrook's three-point attempt in the waning seconds was off target.
"Yeah, yeah," said Westbrook, who finished with 29 points. "I should've probably drove (to the basket), but it's all right." – Rappler.com