James youngest to reach 15,000 points
If indeed LeBron James decides to leave Cleveland, fans in Chicago would certainly hail The King. They certainly let out enough cheers along with those oohs and aahs as he soared around the United Center last night.
James became the youngest player to score 15,000 career points, breaking Kobe Bryant's mark by more than two years, and the Cavaliers pulled away to beat the Bulls 92-85 for their 12th win in 13 games.
Breaking that record, James said, was "very humbling" and the result of all the time he spends honing his game.
"I was born with a God-given gift," he said. "I take full advantage of it by being able to do what I do on the basketball court. Hopefully, I can continue to stay healthy, and hopefully, I'll continue to break records."
James scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, giving him 15,026 in his career, and had 11 rebounds.
James reached the milestone at 25 years, 79 days, and he did it in his 540th game. Bryant was 27 years, 136 days and playing his 657th game, according to STATS LLC, when he did it for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The question is: Whose uniform will he be wearing when he reaches them? James, who can opt out of his contract after the season, would be the top attraction in a star-studded free-agent class if he decides to leave, and the Bulls will have the salary-cap room to offer a maximum deal.
Would James want to play in Chicago?
"I'm here," he said. "They can see me until I catch the plane."
The Bulls lost their 10th in a row.
Celtics 94, Rockets 87: Paul Pierce scored 26 points, Ray Allen hit five 3-pointers and had 19 points, and visiting Boston snapped Houston's winning streak at four games.
Spurs 147, Warriors 116: Manu Ginobili scored 23 points and host San Antonio had its highest total since Gregg Popovich took over as head coach in 1996. The Spurs shot 65 percent from the field.
Trail Blazers 76, Wizards 74: Brandon Roy rebounded from a cold spell to hit a 22-foot jumper with 0.9 seconds left to lift host Portland over Washington, which has lost 10 straight. Roy finished with 14 points to help the Blazers win their fifth straight.
Hawks 93, Bobcats 92: Joe Johnson sank a fallaway jumper over three Charlotte defenders just before time expired in overtime for host Atlanta. Johnson, returning after missing two games because of Achilles' tendinitis, had 18 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Knicks 92, 76ers 88: Toney Douglas scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, rallying short-handed New York past visiting Philadelphia.
Pacers 106, Pistons 102: Danny Granger scored 29 points in his return from a cheek injury, and Troy Murphy added 20 points for host Indiana.
Thunder 115, Raptors 89: Kevin Durant scored 31 points, and Jeff Green had 25 to lead visiting Oklahoma City to its sixth victory in seven games.
Suns 110, Jazz 100: Amare Stoudemire scored the first 11 points for host Phoenix en route to a season-high 44 and the Suns led all the way in a victory over Utah.
Lakers 104, Timberwolves 96: Kobe Bryant had 22 points and a season-high 13 assists, leading host Los Angeles over Minnesota, sending the Timberwolves to their 12th straight loss.
Bucks 114, Kings 108: Milwaukee rookie star Brandon Jennings scored 35 points, hit a career-high eight 3-pointers and added eight assists as the visiting Bucks won in double overtime.