When LeBron James checks back into a ballgame in the fourth quarter, he and his teammates will exchange the universal baseball signal – tapping two fingers on the left forearm – to indicate that “The Closer” is entering the game. The reigning MVP played that role to perfection, extinguishing the Lakers’ run and willing the Wine and Gold past the World Champs – 93-87 – on Thursday night at The Q. Cleveland showed its Christmas Day win over Los Angeles was no gift as James scored 37 points, including 12 straight down the stretch. In a matchup of the game’s two best players, it was LeBron who emerged victorious for the second time this season. “I don’t want to look too far into beating one team twice,” reasoned James. “The Championship still goes through L.A. It doesn’t matter if you beat the team four times; you still have to beat them in the Finals to take that trophy away from them.” Kobe Bryant finished with 31 points and became the youngest player to reach 25,000 points for a career. Continue reading for numerous game photos. Still, no close ups of the CavFanatic LeBron VII’s.
Jack Nicholson wasn’t in the house, but Thursday’s Cavaliers-Lakers game brought out some stars. Hip-hop superstar, Lil’ Wayne, was seated courtside, Grammy-winning recording artist, Mýa, seated baseline and – last but not least – Christopher Mintz-Plasse aka “McLovin” from the seminal comedy, Superbad. The diminutive “McLovin” even made a postgame appearance in the Cavaliers locker room. LeBron shouted, “What’s up, Lovin?!” when he walked in. (LeBron was not pleased about him wearing Kobe’s new Nikes into the Cavaliers locker room, but offered to outfit the famous geek with a pair of his own.)
Photos Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE via Getty Images. Photos by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images, Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images.