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LeBron James returned from a first-half ankle injury to score 26 and become the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 10,000-point milestone, but the Boston Celtics got 22 points from Ray Allen to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 92-87 on Wednesday night.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 with 11 rebounds for Boston to help the NBA's top team win its third straight and improve to 2-2 for the season against the defending Eastern Conference champions.
James sprained his ankle and missed the last 4:24 of the first half, but X-rays were negative and he was back for the start of the second. Cavs coach Mike Brown took a longer break: He was ejected with 42 seconds left in the third quarter after he had to be restrained by his assistants while arguing a foul call against James.
But neither James' performance on the court or Brown's outburst could help Cleveland close what was a double-digit deficit most of the game. After hitting the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to make it 75-66, the Cavs never got closer than 10 points until the final minute.
Delonte West's meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer counted because of goaltending, making it appear closer than it was.
James was hurt after driving for a layup, either twisting something on his way to the basket or when he landed. He hobbled off toward the Cavaliers bench and then dropped onto the court in front of the scorer's table with 4:24 left in the first half.
Brown and the training staff rushed over to attend to James, while the crowd hushed and the players on both benches looked over to see what was happening. After being looked at on the floor for a few minutes, he limped off to the locker room, favoring his right leg, getting a cheer from the Boston fans.
James reached the 10,000-point milestone at 23 years and 59 days. It took him 368 games to do it — the ninth-fastest in league history.
James reached the 10,000-point milestone at 23 years and 59 days, more than a year younger than Kobe Bryant was when he hit the milestone in 2003 (24 years, 193 days). It took James 368 games to do it — the ninth-fastest in league history.
But he missed another mark: He had scored at least 30 points in nine consecutive games against the Celtics.
Boston led 25-16 after one quarter, with 12-5 rebounding edge, then took a 33-18 lead early in the second.
This program aired on February 28, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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