PHILADELPHIA (AP) – LeBron James needed one simple slam to hit another major milestone.
James became the youngest player to reach 25,000 career points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers past the winless Philadelphia 76ers, 107-100, on Monday night.
“It just means I’ve played with a lot of great teammates, a lot of great coaches,” James said. “I’ve been around some great groups and I’ve been able to reap the benefits. It’s a cool thing. I’ve got more work to do but it’s pretty cool to see where you’re able to kind of stop and look at it.”
James had 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds and rallied the Cavs in the second half against a scrappy Philly team that had built a 15-point lead.
James, a two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, and the rest of the Eastern Conference champions had enough to push back the undermanned Sixers.
James scored the milestone basket on an alley-oop dunk with 8:07 left in the fourth quarter. He became the sixth active player with 25,000 points and the 20th overall, joining Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce of the Clippers.
James reached 25,000 career points – the dunk gave him 25,001 – at 30 years, 307 days. Bryant held the mark at 31 years, 351 days.
James’ biggest feat may have been giving 18,094 76ers fans a reason to cheer, and he was rewarded with a standing ovation.
Turns out, Prince James still reigns best as a basketball King.
James scored six points in the third quarter to help the Cavaliers start their rally against the 0-3 Sixers. He made 9 of 19 shots and had four steals.
But it was the latest major achievement that stuck with James, who went from Ohio prep star to the No. 1 overall selection by Cleveland in the 2003 draft.
SPURS 94, KNICKS 84
In New York, LaMarcus Aldridgescored 19 points, Kawhi Leonard had 18 points and 14 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks 94-84 on Monday night to give Tim Duncan a milestone victory.
Duncan had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in his NBA-record 954th victory with one team. He passed Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, who went 953-551 with the Utah Jazz. Duncan, in his 19th season, is 954-381.
Tony Parker also finished with 16 points.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points for the Knicks but struggled to just 4-of-17 shooting while often guarded by Defensive Player of the Year Leonard.
Anthony was coming off a season-best 37 points on Saturday in a victory at Washington.
Aldridge followed his best game with the Spurs, a 24-point performance in a 95-87 victory in Boston on Sunday, by shooting 8 of 15 and grabbing six rebounds.
Rookie Kristaps Porzingis had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks but left the game with 2:49 remaining when Anthony appeared to land on Porzingis’ head while taking a shot. Porzingis was on the floor trying to retrieve a loose ball under the basket. Anthony picked it up first and shot, then tumbled backward over the Latvian. Porzingis remained down, holding his head while play continued.
Porzingis had a highlight moment earlier in the game, climbing high over Aldridge from behind to throw down a follow dunk.
The Spurs led by just four with under 9 1/2 minutes remaining when Manu Ginobili made a 3-pointer, and the lead was never less than five again.