LeBron James became the youngest player to score 50 points in an NBA game, but his franchise-record 56 weren't enough to prevent the Toronto Raptors from beating the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday, 105-98.
"I probably played the best game of my life, but it means nothing when it comes with a loss," James said.
Cavaliers' LeBron James, 20, is the youngest NBA player to score 50 points, topping Rick Barry, who scored 57 for San Francisco when he was 21.
(Frank Gunn -- AP)
He easily surpassed his previous career best of 43 points, set Nov. 24 against Detroit. However, he committed a key turnover with 16 seconds left and missed a pair of three-pointers in the final 14 seconds.
James finished 18 for 36 from the field and made 14 of 15 free throws. He also had six three-pointers, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. But Toronto's reserves did in the Cavaliers', outscoring them 34-1.
"I don't care about individual stats, especially when you lose. I was disappointed to have as good a game as I had and still come out with a loss," James said.
At 20 years 80 days old, James eclipsed Rick Barry as the youngest player to score 50 points. Barry was 21 years 261 days old when he scored 57 for San Francisco against the New York Knicks, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"It's a good achievement, but I'd rather get it with a win," said James, who played all 48 minutes.
Jalen Rose scored 30 points and Donyell Marshall 24 for Toronto.
PISTONS 110, SPURS 101: Despite losing Tim Duncan to a sprained ankle moments after the tip-off, visiting San Antonio put together a gritty, albeit losing, effort in a possible preview of the NBA Finals.
Chauncey Billups scored 25 points, including five straight late after the Spurs pulled within two, to lead a balanced attack in the Pistons' 12th straight home win.
"You want to establish home dominance and we've done that," Billups said.
Tayshaun Prince scored 22 points, Rasheed Wallace had 15 and Richard Hamilton, limited by a sprained left ankle, added 11 points for the defending NBA champions.
The Western Conference-leading Spurs, who won the 2003 NBA title, had won three straight games and eight of 10.
SUNS 97, MEMPHIS 91: Joe Johnson scored 28 points, including a three-pointer with half a minute to play, for visiting Phoenix.