About Last Night

About Last Night: LeBron receives hero's welcome in Cleveland

Vince Carter, Anthony Davis reach major scoring milestones on night of reunions throughout NBA

“A 6-foot-8 forward from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School,” shouted the PA announcer. “Welcome home! No. 23 LeBron James.”

Making his first trip back to Cleveland since leaving for the second time as a free agent, James was welcomed like a hometown hero on Wednesday night and rallied the Los Angeles Lakers to a 109-105 win over the Cavs.

James received a standing ovation for nearly 30 seconds when he was introduced as a starter.

During the game’s first timeout, the Cavs honored James with a video tribute. Images of James’ playing days with Cleveland — highlighted by the Cavs’ historic comeback to win the 2016 title — were shown along with clips of his impact on the community, including his opening of the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron.

James appeared to be touched by the presentation and acknowledged fans with a couple of waves.

Unlike the night of Dec. 2, 2010, when James returned with the Miami Heat and was booed at every turn, this was a night to celebrate James’ accomplishments and what he’s meant to Cleveland. This was a homecoming.

“From the time we landed yesterday, it just felt a different way,” James said. “I’m a different person. We’re all different from eight years ago, both good and bad. But more importantly, this experience has been great.”

James finished with 32 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. He also scored or assisted on 11 straight points as the Lakers overcame a 99-91 deficit in the fourth quarter.

Remember me?

James’ return to Cleveland wasn’t the only reunion on the night before Thanksgiving. Several players faced off with their former teams with mixed results.

Playing against the Thunder, Kevin Durant scored 27 points and grabbed a season-best 14 rebounds for the Warriors, who dropped their fourth straight game, 123-95.

Back in Philadelphia, Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans with 30 points and 10 assists. The Sixers won 121-120 after Anthony Davis missed the third of three free throws with 2.5 seconds left.

Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson, who spent his first four seasons with the Spurs, received a warm reception in San Antonio during introductions. Anderson contributed nine points and nine rebounds in 104-103 victory that vaulted Memphis to the top of Western Conference standings

Former Laker Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points and spearheaded the Cavs’ early fourth-quarter assault, scoring or assisting on 13 straight points.

And then there’s Vince Carter …

Carter dunks his way to 25K

Playing in his 1,423rd regular-season game, Vince Carter became the 22nd player in NBA history to score 25,000 career points.

Fittingly, he got there with a dunk.

Carter pulled within one point of 25,000 when he sank two free throws after a video review overruled the original call he was fouled on a 3-pointer. On Atlanta’s final possession, he missed a jumper before scoring the game’s final basket on a jam, giving him 14 points for the game and 25,001 for his career.

Players from both teams hugged Carter at midcourt.

Davis also reaches milestone

Anthony Davis crossed the 10,000-point plateau on an alley-oop from Jrue Holiday with 3:10 remaining in the second quarter of the Sixers’ 121-120 victory over the Pelicans.

At 25 years and 255 days, Davis becomes the eighth-youngest player in NBA history to reach the milestone.

Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard and Bob McAdoo reached 10,000 career points at a younger age.

Davis’ college coach, Kentucky’s John Calipari, was among the first to offer congratulations.

Davis finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, five steals and five blocks, becoming just the third player in the last decade to post 5 x 5 stat line, joining Draymond Green and Nicolas Batum.

Dunk of the Year candidate

There are poster dunks … and then there’s what Karl-Anthony Towns did to Paul Millsap.

Millsap, however, had the last laugh as the Nuggets beat the Wolves 103-101. Millsap was the star, finishing with 25 points, five rebounds and five steals.

Rising star of the night

Malea Emma, 7, belted out a rousing rendition of the national anthem before the Thunder-Warriors game.


Worth noting

The Warriors’ four-game losing streak is their longest under Steve Kerr, and the team’s longest losing streak since 2013.

• In just three quarters, Kyle Lowry recorded his 11th triple-double since joining Toronto in 2012. No other player in Raptors history has more that three triple-doubles.

James Harden scored 43 points and moved past Rudy Tomjanovich and into third place on the Rockets’ all-time scoring list.

The Bucks beat the Blazers 143-100, the most lopsided loss by a conference leader since the East and West conferences were established in 1970-71 (min. 15 games played).