Team-mates water down James' milestone

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunking during the 105-94 win against the Washington Wizards on Friday. During the game, James became the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 27,000 points - and was doused with water by his team-m
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunking during the 105-94 win against the Washington Wizards on Friday. During the game, James became the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 27,000 points - and was doused with water by his team-mates after his landmark achievement.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • The Cleveland Cavaliers doused LeBron James with water following his latest record-setting performance and after they poured in one three-pointer after another against the Washington Wizards.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and James added 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Cavaliers rebounded from their first loss of the NBA season with a 105-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday.

Kevin Love had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers (7-1), who dominated the Wizards from behind the three-point arc. Cleveland finished 14 of 33 while Washington went 3 for 15.

John Wall had 28 points for the Wizards (2-6), but did not score after half-time until 3min 53sec remained and the Cavaliers opened up a double-digit lead.

Cleveland led 58-56 at half-time and then held Washington to 38 points in the second half.

"We have to get back to our defensive ways and coach (Tyronn) Lue challenged us tonight," James said. "We definitely picked it up in the second half."

  • 10

    James is the 10th player to reach the 27,000-point mark.

One day after visiting the White House - the Cavaliers were honoured for winning the 2016 NBA championship - James became the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 27,000 points.

At 31 years, 317 days, he passed former Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant (33,643) - who was 32 years and 160 days old when he reached 27,000 - with a three-pointer in the first quarter.

His team-mates did not let the moment pass without some celebrating.

"They lied to me," James joked. "They said coach 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."

Irving praised James for achieving a milestone.

"That's NBA history, man," said Irving of the feat.

"It's truly an honour 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."

J.R. Smith scored 17 points and sank five three-pointers. The Cavaliers have made at least 11 three-pointers in every game this season. That included Tuesday's 110-106 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, but they also missed 31 attempts.

"I think we got away from what we ran in the first half," Wall said. "We were doing a good job of getting stops and getting out in transition... They started getting open and made a lot of threes in the second half."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 13, 2016, with the headline 'Team-mates water down James' milestone'. Print Edition | Subscribe