PHILADELPHIA: 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.
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.
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.
Jahlil Okafor, the No. 3 overall pick of this year’s draft, fought through foul trouble and led the Sixers with 24 points. Nik Stauskas scored 15 and Nerlens Noel 14.
Okafor and Noel are the building blocks of a franchise years away from contention. Okafor and Noel, the No. 6 overall pick of the 2013 draft, gave the Sixers a peek in the first half at just good they might be one day. Noel and Okafor powered Philadelphia to a 32-18 lead after one and a 54-49 edge at the break.
James and Kevin Love, who scored 15, got the Cavs rolling. Cleveland made 13 of 20 shots in the third to help put the game away.
Quarter by quarter
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FINAL SCORE
Cleveland Cavaliers 18 31 33 25 107
Philadelphia 76ers 32 22 18 22 100