LeBron James likes the bright lights of New York city.
James became the youngest player in NBA history to score 28,000 points in their career as he so so early in the game and went on to score 32 points in leading the Cavaliers to a 111-104 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in front of a national televised audience. The Cavaliers improved to 34-15, while the Knicks fall to 22-30.
The Cavs played without Kyrie Irving, who sat out with quad soreness. Meanwhile, Kevin Love returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games. The Cavs led by as much as 27 points before seeing the Knicks stage a rally in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to five points at 106-101 before Love hit a trey with 44.4 seconds to play on a nifty left-handed pass from James.
"We didn't close the quarter the right way," James said. "We got some timely stops and Kevin made a big shot."
Channing Frye (14), Tristan Thompson (12) and Kyle Korver (11) all scored doubles figures to complement James and Love with Irving sitting out.
Brandon Jennings led the Knicks with 23 points.
The Cavs played the first game of a four-game road trip and James was happy with the result.
"It was a great way to start the trip."
James Climbing: LeBron James needed six points to hit the 28,000 mark in his career and he did so in the first quarter becoming the youngest player at 32 to score 28,000 points.
Kevin's Back: Kevin Love returned to the lineup after missing two-straight games with back spasms. Love responded with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Double-Double: James and Love both had double-doubles. James scored 32 points and had 10 assists, while Love had 23 points and 15 rebounds.
No Kyrie: Kyrie Irving sat out with quad soreness. There was no indication if Irving is expected to play Monday against the Wizards.
Three-Ball: The Cavs shot 40 percent from behind the arc on 16-of-40. LeBron James was 4-of-8 as was Channing Frye. Kevin Love was 4-of-7.
Pass it On: The Cavs had 20 assists with James getting half of them with 10.
Next Up: The Cavs will travel to Washington to play the Wizards on Monday night in the second of the four game road trip.