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Friday, Jan. 18, 2013

LeBron nets 20,000th as Heat rout Warriors


OAKLAND, California — Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and team president Pat Riley took a moment in the locker room late Wednesday night to give LeBron James the game ball and recognize his latest record.

News photo
Throwing down: Miami's LeBron James flies in for a dunk against Golden State in the first half on Wednesday night. James scored his 20,00th point in a 92-75 victory over the Warriors. AP

Players shouted and huddled in the center of the room. Then, as Spoelstra said, "Everybody took a shot at him — a punch, a jab, an elbow, whatever they could get in before he started hitting back."

Just a small sampling of the hurt James has put on the rest of the NBA for the last decade.

James, who entered the NBA right after high school, became the youngest player in league history to score 20,000 points and also surpassed 5,000 assists on a milestone night, leading the Heat to a 92-75 victory over the undermanned Golden State Warriors.

On a road trip that has had more bad news than good, James rewrote the headlines and the record books. He finished with 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in just 30 minutes to grab his latest slice of history.

"It means everything," James said. "It means a lot. First of all, like I continue to say, it means I've been able to be healthy. To be out on the floor and do what I love to do, I love the game of basketball and I try to give everything to the game. And hopefully it continues to give back to me."

James eclipsed both marks before halftime, helped Miami go ahead by 34 points in the third quarter and allowed Spoelstra to rest his starters.

Previously the youngest player to score 20,000 points was Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who got there when he was 29 years, 122 days old. James was 28 years, 17 days on Wednesday.

James also is the 13th player with 20,000 points and 5,000 assists. The only active players to reach both marks are Bryant and Boston's Kevin Garnett.

Wednesday was the Heat star's 726th regular-season game. Wilt Chamberlain needed only 499 games to score 20,000, followed by Jordan (620), Oscar Robertson (671), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (684), Elgin Baylor (711) and Allen Iverson (713).

Hornets 90, Celtics 78

In Boston, Austin Rivers won his first NBA game against his father as New Orleans beat coach Doc Rivers and the Celtics.

Spurs 103, Grizzlies 82

In San Antonio, Tony Parker had 17 points and 11 assists and Tim Duncan scored 19 to help the Spurs beat Memphis and extending their home winning streak to 13 games.

Thunder 117, Nuggets 97

In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Martin had 20 and the hosts snapped Denver's six-game winning streak.

Kevin Durant added 20 points and tied his career high with five steals as NBA-best Oklahoma City led wire-to-wire for just the second time this season.

Hawks 109, Nets 95

In Atlanta, Jeff Teague had a career-high 28 points and 11 assists, Zaza Pachulia finished two assists shy of a triple-double and the Hawks ended Brooklyn's seven-game winning streak.

Brook Lopez had 22 points for the Nets, who lost for only the second time in 11 games under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Mavericks 105, Rockets 100

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points, O.J. Mayo hit two tiebreaking free throws and the Mavs held off a Jeremy Lin-led surge to beat Houston.

Bulls 107, Raptors 105 (OT)

In Toronto, Luol Deng hit a tiebreaking jumper with 3 seconds left in overtime and Chicago beat the Raptors for the eighth time in nine meetings.

Magic 97, Pacers 86

In Orlando, Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help the Magic snap a six-game home losing streak with a victory over Indiana.

Cavaliers 93, Blazers 88

In Portland, Kyrie Irving scored 31 points and Tristan Thompson added 19 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland.

Kings 95, Wizards 94

In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 16 rebounds while Tyreke Evans and John Salmons each scored 21 points to help the Kings beat Washington.

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