NORTH NATOMAS — LeBron James had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists and Kyrie Irving added 30 points and four assists to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Sacramento Kings 120-111 at Sleep Train Arena on March 9.
The game was the last time James would play in the facility where he played his first NBA game 13 years ago when the building was then called Arco Arena. He said he would always have fond memories of the place that will be replace by a new downtown sports center.
“This place holds a lot of significance,” James told The OBSERVER. “I started my career here and to have an opportunity to play here, still be in the league when they play their last season here, means a lot to me. I’ll always remember this game and also the first game I ever played.”
Kevin Love chipped in 17 points and 10 rebounds and Tristan Thompson scored 18 points and pulled down 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers (45-18), who win their first of four road games on this trip. The Cavaliers play Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers on March 10.
DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and 11 rebounds and Rudy Gay added 19 points and six rebounds for the Kings (25-38). The Kings are 14-17 overall at Sleep Train Arena and have lost the last three games at home since being at .500. The Kings were without Marco Belinelli and Ben McLemore, both out with injuries.
The Kings continue to fade out out the playoffs picture, though players insists they are not mailing it in. Mathematically, the Kings are still in play despite losing some winnable games.
“No, we’re not even close to cashing in,” said Darren Collison, who had 15 points, eight assists, and two steals in a starting role for the Kings. “Until we’re automatically out of the playoffs for good we’re still going to give what these fans deserve. And that’s just going out there to play hard every night.”
On Oct. 29, 2003, LeBron James finished with 25 points, six rebounds, four steals and nine assists in his first NBA game, which was played in Arco Arena (now Sleep Train Arena).
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer