The Hollywood stage was set for a pair of living NBA legends to put on a show Thursday night, and LeBron James and Kobe Bryant did not disappoint.
LeBron poured in game-high 36 points, helping to bring an end to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ six-game losing streak with a 109-102 road victory.
Kobe Bryant’s 19 points and a career-best 17 assists were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
James scored 36 points in what will be one of his final showdowns with Kobe Bryant. Assuming the Lakers don’t meet the Cavs in the NBA finals either of the next two years – a fairly safe assumption at this point – the two stars may only have three games left against one another.
The two stars cracked jokes about getting old. Bryant razzed LeBron about missing a lob dunk in the first half and watching the ball carom off the iron and sail out of bounds. Then they embraced after the game as James conceded their relationship has grown tremendously the last two years. […] “I don’t know what it was,” James said. “He’s not as moody as before.”
“It’s a little different now,” Bryant said. “Some years ago we were competing for championships, I was a lot more moody. Now it’s a little different. I get a chance to appreciate the competition and enjoy that interaction. We’ve gotten to know each other very well. Our relationship had changed over the years, we never really had much interaction until 2008 and it’s grown since then. … It’d be a little different if we were competing for a championship, I’d be my same moody self. Right now, I’m able to have a bit more perspective knowing I won’t get a chance to play against him on the court much longer.”