LeBron Quips He’s ‘Getting Better With Age’ After Lakers Top Cavs

It had been 18 years to the day that LeBron James made his NBA debut, and James was as good as ever, scoring 26 points in a 113-101 win over the visiting Cavaliers on Friday.LeBron James

James, 36, debuted with those very Cavs on Oct. 29, 2003 in a game at Sacramento. He scored 25 that night.

Fast-forward 18 years later, and yes, James beat that number by a point — in a game the Lakers (3-3) desperately needed.

“I’m just trying to up myself,” he told reporters. “Getting better with age. Just like wine.”

James had missed the previous two games with a sore ankle. One of them did not go well for the Lakers, who blew a 26-point lead to lose a road game against the Thunder.

Things weren’t going much better against the young and feisty Cavs, who closed the first quarter on a 13-0 run and stayed with the Lakers right up until the final six minutes. But the Lakers’ experience proved too much down the stretch.

James, of course, was a major reason why.

So was Carmelo Anthony (24 points), who also happened to make his NBA debut on Oct. 29, 2003. Anthony, 37, was written off by the Rockets and most of the rest of the NBA a few seasons back.

Like James, though, any decline in Anthony’s offensive game has barely been noticeable this season. He finished 6-of-8 on 3-pointers, and nearly every last one really hurt the Cavs.

“He’s a sniper,” James said of his longtime friend. “One of those guys that doesn’t need much air space to get it off because it’s a quick trigger. He creates so much space for (Russell Westbrook) and myself and (Anthony Davis) to work our pick-and-roll magic.”

All in all, it was a good night to have James return, a good night to build some confidence for a team that needed it, a good night to finish strong.

“Our guys were just tired of how it looked, and the coaching staff and the head coach was tired of how it looked and we let them know about it,” coach Frank Vogel said of the late run. “That was a big challenge to be better and I was excited to see that they performed the way they did in the fourth.”

The Lakers host the Rockets on Sunday at 10:30 EST.

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