‘We are Witnesses to History!’ LeBron James becomes the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer

It happened! LeBron James has always been “The King,” and he officially became the king of scoring in the NBA on Tuesday. Late in the third, James sank a 14-foot fadeaway shot to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become the all-time leading scorer in the history of the NBA.

James, who has amassed 38.390 career-points, finished with 38 points, but the Lakers would fall to the Thunder 133-130 at Crypto.com Arena. After surpassing Kareem, James was emotional and was joined on the court by Abdul-Jabbar, Adam Silver, and members of his family. 

There was a short ceremony where Abdul-Jabbar gave a ball to James, and the 19-time All-Star gave a short speech.

Recently, the NBA compiled some scoring milestones from James’ 20-year career.

Here is a few of them:

10,000:

-He became the youngest player to reach 10,000 career points (23 years and 59 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against the Boston Celtics.

15,000:

-James became the youngest player to reach 15,000 career points (25 years and 79 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against the Chicago Bulls.

20,000: 

James became the youngest player to reach 20,000 career points (28 years and 17 days), achieving the milestone with Miami in a game against the Golden State Warriors.

25,000: 

The four-time All-Star became the youngest player to reach 25,000 career points (30 years and 307 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

30,000: 

James became the youngest player and seventh overall to reach 30,000 career points (33 years and 24 days), achieving the milestone with Cleveland in a game against San Antonio.

35,000:

James became the third player (along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone) to score 35,000 career points, reaching the milestone with the Lakers in a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Cavs rout Wizards to get third straight win

The Cavs(34-22) finished their quick two-game road trip in Washington against the Wizards(24-29. Cleveland led from start to finish and defeated Washington 114-91 on Monday night.

Cleveland had six players in double figures and led by as many as 28 points in this contest. 

The Cavs have now won three straight.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Wizards.

The Great:

The Cavs’ Starting Five: 

Jarrett Allen had another strong performance as he was close to perfect from the field(10/13 FG), and he finished 23 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks.  

Darius Garland scored 23 points, dished out five assists, and three steals. 

Donovan Mitchell added 21 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

Evan Mobley had 16 points, five rebounds, and two blocks.  

Isaac Okoro chipped in with 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists.

Defense: The Cavs brought it on the defensive end against the Wizards. They held the Wizards to 91 points and held Washington to 6/28(21%) from downtown.

First Half: Cleveland jumped on the Wizards early and cruised the rest of the way. The Cavs shot 63% from the field. All five Cavs’ starters scored in double figures in the first half. According to Elias Sports, this was the first time since 1997-98 that all five Cavs starters scored in double figures in the first half.

Shooting: The Cavs shot the ball at a high level. They shot 56% from the field and made 12 threes. They had no problems scoring and no issues getting to the basket. Cleveland had 58 points in the paint.

Not So Great:

Turnovers were high(17), but who cares? They won by 23 points.

Bottom Line:

Cleveland has looked good during their three-game winning streak, and yes, two of those games were against the Pacers and Wizards and a slumping Grizzlies team, but it’s how they are winning. They are sharing the ball and defending at a high level. Most importantly, they won these last two games on the road, and doing it on a back-to-back makes it even more impressive. 

What’s Next:

Cleveland heads home to face the Pistons on Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

-Kristaps Porzingis led the Wizards with 18 points; Will Barton added 15 points.

-Cleveland is 16-1 when they hold their opponents under 100 points, and the Cavs are 11-3 when they have six-plus players score in double figures.

-Washington was without Bradley Beal(foot), and Kyle Kuzma(ankle).

Cavs dominate Pacers to get second straight win

The Cavs(33-22) begin a quick two-game road trip in Indiana against the Pacers(25-30) on Sunday night.

Cleveland used a dominant second quarter to defeat the Pacers 122-103 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The Cavs have won two straight, while the Pacers have lost 12 of their last 14 games.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Pacers.

The Great:

The Cavs’ Starting Five: 

Isaac Okoro scored a season-high 20 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Okoro has shown improvement of late and has been in double figures in the last two games.

Darius Garland led the Cavs with 24 points and six assists. Again, Garland continues to show why he should have been an All-Star.

Donovan Mitchell started slow(he missed his first four shots in the opening quarter) but picked it up in the second quarter, where he scored nine of his 19 points. Mitchell added three rebounds and six assists.

Jarrett Allen had his third straight double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Evan Mobley had his second-straight double-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks. 

According to Elias Sports, this was the fourth time in team history that all five starters scored 17-plus points in a regular season game.

Sharing is Caring: Cleveland had 33 assists on 46 field goals. They were unselfish, and everyone benefitted, and Ricky Rubio led the way with nine assists off the bench. This was Cleveland’s fourth straight game with 30-plus assists.

Second Quarter: Cleveland led by two at the end of the first quarter and busted things open in the second, where they shot 56% from the field. Indiana had a 37-36 lead with 6:54 left in the quarter, and the Cavs closed things out the right way as they outscored Indiana 26-9 to take a 62-46 lead at halftime. Cleveland would take their largest lead of 26 points in the fourth quarter.

Three-Point Shooting: Cleveland had a lot of success from three-point range as they were 15/37(41%) from behind the arc.

Not So Great:

Nothing to see here.

Bottom Line:

Cleveland had a terrific offensive game against Indiana. They were unselfish, made shots, and dominated the Pacers from the second quarter until the end. It’s just the Pacers, but this a good win for a team that has been mediocre on the road, and if Okoro can play like this going forward, they will win a lot of games. In fact, they are 10-4 when Okoro scores 10-plus points, so if he can play at a high level, Cleveland will only get better.

What’s Next:

Cleveland heads to Washington to battle the Wizards on Monday night.

Best of the Rest:

Myles Turner led Indiana with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. Tyrese Haliburton had 15 points and 11 assists; Buddy Hield chipped in with 16,

Cleveland recorded its league-leading 23rd victory by 10-plus points.

Garland made three-pointer number 500 on Sunday.

Kyrie Irving’s time in Brooklyn needed to end

Kyrie Irving’s time with the Brooklyn Nets has reportedly come to an end. 

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavericks are sending Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, and second-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Nets in exchange for Irving and Markieff Morris.

The 30-year-old Irving, who can become a free agent at the end of the season, reportedly requested a trade from the Nets on Friday, and two days later, he’s on the move. Irving reportedly requested a trade after he and the Nets could not come together on a contract extension.

Now, Irving will team with Luka Doncic. Dallas(28-26) needed another star to team with Doncic, and for at least the rest of the season, they will have that, and if Irving can be a good solider for the next few months, maybe he could have a home in Dallas, but history tells us, that could be a problem.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Irving’s extension talks are expected to be put off until this summer. He is eligible for a two-year extension now and a four-year deal in the summer.

Irving, who is averaging 27.1 ppg in 40 games this season, is worth the risk for the Mavericks. Dallas was treading water and needed to do something. Here’s another reality, if things don’t work out for Dallas, they will have cap space.

According to MacMahon, if they don’t re-sign the eight-time All-Star, the Mavs will have close to max salary cap space this summer. 

Regarding the Nets(32-20), they get Dinwiddie(17.3 PPG), a decent scorer, and Finney-Smith is a solid 3-and-D wing player, so when Kevin Durant gets healthy, the Nets can still compete. According to Wojnarowski, the Nets will continue to try to improve their roster before the trade deadline.

Irving spent four seasons with the Nets, and injuries were an issue throughout his time with Brooklyn; not receiving the COVID vaccine caused him to miss time, and retweeting a film that some have called antisemitic was an issue, and in the end, both parties needed a divorce.

Cavs’ Mitchell on Brooks: ‘Quite frankly, I’ve been busting his a** for years’

The Cavs(32-22) ended their three-game homestand against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night, and this nationally televised game was very physical. Cleveland defeated the Grizzlies 128-113 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Memphis(32-32) has now lost seven of their last eight games.

In this game, Donovan Mitchell and Dillon Brooks were both ejected after an altercation in the third quarter. We’ll talk about that a little later.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Grizzlies.

The Great:

Darius Garland did not get the call as an All-Star reserve and let the league know about it on the court. Garland had a game-high 32 points and 11 assists.

Jarrett Allen does what Jarrett Allen has done all season, and that’s getting a double-double. He had 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. 

Evan Mobley was the third Cavs player with a double-double, as he had 17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. This was the second time this season Cleveland had three players record double-doubles in the same game.

Post Mitchell-Brooks fight: Mitchell and Brooks(Flagrant 2 foul) were ejected with 5:48 left in the third quarter. The altercation started when Brooks drove to the basket and fell to the ground. Mitchell got control of the ball and Brooks hit Mitchell in the groin while on the ground. Mitchell threw the ball at Brooks and pushed him.  The two were separated, and eventually, order was restored. 

At that point, Cleveland led 81-76. After the Mitchell and Brooks scrap, Cleveland seemed inspired and outscored the Grizzlies 47-37 the rest of the way.

Donovan Mitchell: He stood up for himself and wasn’t going to back down from Brooks; for that, he makes the list. The team also gave him the “Junkyard Dog” award, so they loved what he did.

Not So Great:

Donovan Mitchell: Before the ejection, Mitchell was off; he finished the game 2/11 from the field and scored only six points in 22 minutes of action.

Bottom Line:

This game was physical and fun, and the Cavs went toe-to-toe with the Grizzlies and didn’t back down; it was good to see the Cavs inspired after the scrap between Brooks and Mitchell. 

Furthermore, Brooks started the fight by hitting Mitchell in the groin, and Mitchell just defended himself. In the end, the incident inspired the Cavs, and they got the win.

Quotes:

J.B Bickerstaff/Cavs Head Coach: “We don’t have those guys that start s***, but we have guys who don’t run from s***, and you have to in this league.”

Mitchell on Brooks: “That’s just who he is. We’ve seen it a bunch in this league with him. Him and I have had our personal battles for years. Quite frankly, I’ve been busting his a** for years. Playoffs, regular season. The one game he does an alright job on me today, he does something like that. There’s no place for that in the game, and you’ve got to protect yourself at the end of the day.”

What’s Next:

Cleveland travels to Indiana to battle the Pacers on Sunday. 

Best of the Rest:

-Cedi Osman had 21 points off the bench and was 4/5 from downtown for the Cavs; Ricky Rubio had a season-high 13 points. Issac Okoro chipped in with 12 points. Cleveland had six players in double figures.

-Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 25 points; Ja Morant added 24 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, and Santi Aldama had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Embiid named Eastern Conference Player of the Month; Rivers named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month

The Philadelphia 76ers had a lot of success in January. They went 11-3, including a perfect 6-0 on the road, and because of that, Doc Rivers was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January, and for the second consecutive month, Joel Embiid was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month, the league announced Thursday.

In 10 games played throughout the month, Embiid produced a league-best 34.9 points on 54.9% shooting, 10.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.6 blocked shots. He is the first 76ers player to produce such numbers in a calendar month since Hall of Famer Moses Malone did so in Feb. 1982.  

The five-time All-star reached the 30-point mark in nine of his 10 games played throughout the month, including a streak of seven consecutive from Jan. 2-19. He scored 40-plus points three times in January, including a 47-point (18-31 FG), season-high 18-rebound game in a win over Denver on January 28. 

Rivers run deep!

This marks the first time this season and the second time as the leader of the 76ers that Rivers has captured the monthly coaching honor. He joins Larry Brown as the only two coaches to earn the award multiple times with the franchise. With 13 monthly honors throughout his coaching career, Rivers stands alone in second place on the all-time ledger behind only San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (17). 

Philadelphia finished the month with a perfect 7-0 mark in games decided by less than 10 points.

For the season, Rivers has led the 76ers to a 33-17 (.667) record, good for third in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the NBA. Going back to December 9, Philadelphia is a league-best 21-5.

Mavs’ Doncic on 53-point game: ‘I did some good work’

After missing two games with a sprained ankle, Mavericks star Luka Doncic was back against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night, and he picked up where he left off. 

He scored 24 points in the first quarter and had 34 points at the break and 45 after three quarters. Ultimately, Doncic finished the game with 53 points (17-24 FG, 5-11 3FG, 14-18 FT), eight rebounds, and five assists as the Mavs(27-25) defeated the Pistons(13-39) 111-105 at American Airlines Center.

Doncic’s 53 points is a team record for the most points in a regulation-length game. He’s back, but according to him, he’s not entirely healthy.

“It’s good,” he said. “It’s not 100%, but it’s good. I did some good work.”

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said Doncic and the team were connected in his return.

“I think we were connected,” Kidd said. “I think sometimes when someone comes back, you tend to wait. Spencer [Dinwiddie], after the last two games, was playing at a high level. I thought he was letting Luka dictate everything instead of just playing the game he was playing the last two [games]. Luka’s going to join the party; he’s too talented not to, the ball is going to find him.

Doncic handled the scoring load for the first three quarters, and Spencer Dinwiddie, who was the only Dallas player besides Doncic to score in double figures on Tuesday night, took over in the fourth. He had 10 of 12 points in the final stanza and gave Dallas their first lead in the fourth since the second quarter, which the Mavs never relinquished.

Doncic was impressed by the play of Dinwiddie.

“I mean, he’s an amazing player,” he said. “He needs to stay aggressive and play his game and get going. He’s an amazing player.”

Dallas gets back at it on Thursday night as they host the Pelicans.

Notes:

Doncic now has four games this season with 50-plus points, which leads the NBA (four players tied with two games). The Mavericks are 4-0 this season when he goes for 50-plus points. Doncic joined Kobe Bryant, James Harden (3x), and Michael Jordan as the only players to post four games with 50-plus points over the last 50 years.

\

Cedi Osman shines as Cavs rout Clippers

The last time the Cavs played a depleted team at home, they lost to the Golden State Warriors, who sat four of their five starters.

On Sunday night, they had another depleted squad coming to town, the Los Angeles Clippers, who had defeated the Hawks in Atlanta the night before.

Los Angeles(28-25) was without Kawhi Leonard(injury management), Paul George(right knee soreness), and Reggie Jackson(Achilles soreness), and this time, the Cavs took advantage of it. 

Cleveland(31-21), who had five players in double figures, led from start to finish and by as many as 40 points, and they defeated the Clippers 122-99 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Clippers.

The Great:

Cedi Osman had a career-high 29 points(11/13 FG, 7/7 3-PT FG) off the bench. Sixteen of his 29 points came in the fourth when the game was well in hand, but still, an excellent performance from Osman. Ironically, Osman, who played for the Turkish national team, did all this on “Turkish Heritage Night” at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. 

Darius Garland had 16 points and 10 assists. This is Garland’s second straight double-double.

Jarrett Allen had 15 points and eight rebounds, and he made this list because he hit his first three-pointer of the season and the first since November 2021. 

First Half: This game was over at halftime. Cleveland led 64-34 at the half. In that first half, the Cavs shot 57% from the field and 53% from deep. The Cavs led by as many as 35 in the first half and cruised from there.

Not So Great:

You lead by as many as 40 and win by 23. Life is all great!

Bottom Line:

Cleveland handled their business. Nothing more, nothing less. Sidenote: It has to be frustrating for fans to pay a bunch of money for tickets and not see their favorite NBA stars. Cavs fans have not seen Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard this season, essentially due to rest. That’s unfair to the fans, and something should be done.

What’s Next:

The Cavs continue their three-game homestand on Tuesday against the Heat.

Best of the Rest:

-The Clippers had six players in double figures as Brandon Boston Jr led the way with 24 points off the bench.

-Donovan Mitchell, who returned after missing two games with a groin injury, scored 11 points for the Cavs.

-Back to Osman, According to Cavs Notes, Osman is just the third player in team history to finish a game a perfect 7-7 or better from three(Kyrie Irving (7-7, 3/12/15) and Mo Williams (7-7, 11/28/09).

In addition, on Sunday, Osmam moved up to number six in threes made in team history.

-Kevin Love(back) missed his third straight game.

Cavs run out of gas in OKC

The Cavs(30-21) finished their three-game road trip in OKC against the Thunder(24-25) on Friday night. Cleveland was without Donovan Mitchell(groin), Ricky Rubio(rest), and Kevin Love(back) and was on a second half of a back-to-back after their win over the Rockets in Houston on Thursday night.

Cleveland led early but faded late and fell to the Thunder 112-100 at Paycom Center.

The Cavs finished their three-game road trip 1-2.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ loss to the Thunder.

The Great:

Darius Garland led the Cavs with 31 points and 13 assists. 23 of his 31 points came in the second half.

Evan Mobley had another strong performance with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. This was Mobley’s second straight 20-10 game, and Mobley grabbed his 1,000th career rebound on Friday night.

Not So Great:

Caris LeVert was 1/12 from the field, including 0/6 from deep; he finished with two points and nine assists. Without Mitchell, the Cavs needed LeVert to be better. 

Second Half: Cleveland led 54-47 at halftime, but they were outscored 65-46 in the second half. OKC shot 59% from the field in that second half and 7/11 from deep, and they closed the game the right way. Conversely, the Cavs shot 39% from the field.

Bottom Line:

No Mitchell, no Love, and no Rubio, and the Cavs just ran out of gas in the second half of a back-to-back. The Cavs did not have the energy to hold OKC off.

However, this is not a bad loss. You’re without your best player on a back-to-back against a solid Thunder team on the road, so the loss is excusable.

The Cavs are a very good team, but their road woes(10-16) prevent them from being great.

What’s Next:

Cleveland returns home on Sunday to face the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Best of the Rest:

-Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 35 points, five rebounds, and eight assists. Jalen Williams added 17 points, including 3/3 from deep; Josh Giddey chipped in with 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

-Jarrett Allen had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers.

NBA announces All-Star starters

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains in the 2023 All-Star Game at Vivint Arena in Utah, the league announced Thursday.

In the East, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Donovan Mitchell were named starters, while in the West, James will be joined by Nikola Jokic, Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, and Stephen Curry in the starting lineup.

James(7,418,116), who made his NBA-record-tying 19th All-Star appearance, was the leading vote-getter overall, and Antetokounmpo(6,761,032) was the leading vote-getter in the East.

Fans, current NBA players, and a media panel selected starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the starters, while players and media accounted for 25 percent each.

Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes. The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.

The All-Star reserves will be named on February 2, and the NBA All-Star game will take place on February 19.  On that night, James and Antetokounmpo will select their teammates.

Notes:

-At 23, Doncic joins Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas, and Anthony Davis as the only players to earn four All-Star nods before their 24th birthday.

-This is Mitchell’s fourth NBA All-Star selection and his first time being selected as a starter.

-Williamson, who is also an All-Star starter for the first time his career, becomes the fourth New Orleans player to be voted a starter, joining Chris Paul (twice), Anthony Davis (x3), and DeMarcus Cousins.