WASHINGTON (AP) For all of LeBron James’ achievements, from MVP awards to NBA championships, the celebrations in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ locker room Friday night – and the water dumped on No. 23 by teammates – was to mark a relatively obscure milestone: youngest NBA player to reach 27,000 career points.
”They lied to me. They said that Coach (Tyronn) Lue had accomplished something, and they were going to douse him. And I was kind of surprised, like, `What happened? You guys are going to mess up his suit,”’ James said with a smile. ”And then … they rushed me and got all my clothes wet and everything.”
The impromptu celebration capped a perfect trip to the nation’s capital for the Cavs, who added a win to their White House visit by beating the Washington Wizards 105-94 as James had 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. He made three of Cleveland’s 14 3-pointers.
At 31, James is about 1+ years younger than Kobe Bryant was when he became the previous youngest to 27,000 points.
”That’s NBA history, man. It’s truly an honor to be part of the journey like that,” said teammate Kyrie Irving, who scored 29 for Cleveland and helped hold Washington’s John Wall to only five of his 28 points after halftime.
A day after being feted as NBA champions by President Barack Obama, the Cavaliers improved to 7-1 this season, recovering quickly from their loss to Atlanta on Tuesday.
In Oklahoma City, Blake Griffin scored 25 points as Los Angeles beat the Thunder 110-108 to improve the best start in Clipper history to 8-1.
Thunder star Russell Westbrook missed what would have been a game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
Jamal Crawford scored 19 points and Chris Paul added 17 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, who have won five straight and own the league’s best record.
San Antonio snapped a three-game home losing streak by beating visiting Detroit 96-86, with Pau Gasol setting season highs with 21 points and six assists.
Gasol was 10 for 16 from the field as San Antonio ended its longest home skid since dropping three straight in December 2014. He also had nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
In Charlotte, the Hornets lost to Toronto 113-111, with DeMar DeRozan continuing his torrid pace by scoring 34 points.
DeRozan came into the game averaging an NBA-high 34.1 points. He shot 14 of 26 from the field and made several key jumpers down the stretch as the Raptors erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win for the fifth time in six games.
In other games, Philadelphia beat visiting Indiana 109-105 in overtime for its first win of the season, Utah won 87-74 at Orlando, Boston beat the visiting New York Knicks 115-87, and Portland won 122-120 at home in overtime against Sacramento.