LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers ran into a red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers team on Sunday afternoon, and the NBA superstar’s run of victories against his former team came to an end.
The Cavaliers got 33 points from Donovan Mitchell and 24 points from Darius Garland when they defeated the Lakers, 114-100. It was the Cavaliers’ eighth consecutive win and they go to 8-1 on the season.
James scored 27 points in the loss, but had not suffered a loss to the Cavaliers since March 2011, when he was with the Miami Heat. James was on the Lakers when the team lost to the Cavaliers in January 2019, but he was inactive. It is only Cleveland’s second loss of his career.
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“You always have to respect greatness,” said Mitchell, who grew up a fan of James and the Cavaliers.
“When the biggest ones are on the floor, you just go out there and try to find a way to compete and win. We got there and just tried to do what we did, and luckily it was against Bron, but that was no topic of conversation or anything.”
Garland added: “LeBron does a lot for the city, did a lot for the city. So, just having a whole different generation of guys with a lot of talent and just a great team that everyone loves would do a lot for us and the city of Cleveland.” (to get to the play-offs again). That’s what we’re aiming for.”
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James gave his thoughts on the cavaliers escaping. The last time he did, he jokingly said he was “getting into trouble”, alluding to his potential interest in playing for Cleveland again.
“They’ve done a great job in the off-season bringing in a big player,” he said. “They have a very good team and a great coach. A balanced team and a bunch of players (who) seem like they just really want to play ball.”
The Cavaliers have not made the playoffs without James since he entered the league. The team reached the play-in tournament last season, but lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks.
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Cleveland is on its longest winning streak since a 13-game run in 2017, when James last played for the team.
The The Bharat Express News contributed to this report.