Cleveland (51-13) at Kings (14-50)
Scoring: Kings 14th (99.5), Cavaliers 13th (99.7)
Shooting: Kings 25th (44.75 percent), Cavaliers fifth (46.82)
Scoring defense: Kings 28th (108.2), Cavaliers first (90.4)
Shooting defense: Kings 29th (47.94 percent), Cavaliers first (42.87)
Rebound differential: Kings 30th (minus-5.31), Cavaliers third (plus-2.96)
The link: Cavaliers coverage in the Cleveland Plain Dealer ; Kings coverage in The Bee (Story, notes and game preview.
The almanac: On this date in 1962, the season ended and Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain became the only player to exceed 4,000 points (4,029) and average over 50 points (50.4 per game) in an NBA season. On this date in 1962, the Boston Celtics beat the Syracuse Nationals 142-110, becoming the first team to win 60 games (60-20) in an NBA season. On this date in 1998, Utah's John Stockton scored the 15,000th point of his career in a 110-101 win over Vancouver. On this date in 1999, Charles Barkley of the Houston Rockets became the third player in NBA history to amass 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists when he recorded his first assist in a 100-89 victory over Cleveland. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain in this elite group.
After watching LeBron James' performance last night against the Phoenix Suns, I just had to ask: Is there anyone out there who doesn't expect him to come up with another triple-double tonight against the Kings - for what would be his fourth straight? Actually, it should be interesting to watch Andres Nocioni try to aggravate and outmuscle James, one of the three obvious candidates (Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade) for the MVP award. But these are the Kings. Their defense is horrific. Poor Andres will be flying solo ....
The only way James figures to have an off-night is if he doesn't play, which became a real possibility Thursday night. With 1:56 remaining in the third quarter, and the Cavs leading 86-83, he collided with Grant Hill on a drive to the basket, then fell to the court, clutching his left knee/shin. He stayed in the game, however, and in his postgame TNT interview with Craig Sager, said he planned to ice the leg, receive treatment, and see how he felt Friday before determining his availability against the Kings.
FOR THE STAT FREAKS, WHEREVER YOU ARE
LeBron's last three games:
Against the Suns: 34 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists.
Against the Clippers: 32 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists.
Against the Heat: 14 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists.