(Watch video highlights from the “Battle of I-95” game here.)
Fans following the summer basketball circuit were treated to another classic Sunday in Philadelphia as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul led the Baltimore-based Team Melo against Tyreke Evans, Hakim Warrick and a Philadelphia-based team in “The Battle of I-95”.
As you might expect, there was very little defense to be found, but plenty of offensive fireworks.
James played the entire 48 minutes, scoring a game-high 43 points and pulling down 23 rebounds while showing a new knack for a post-up game fans have been begging him to utilize for years.
Anthony — who revealed that he had two surgeries this offseason — poured in 31 points and 17 rebounds and Paul added six points, five rebounds and eight assists. Despite all that, Team Philly still came away with a 132-122 victory.
James was booed all night by the sellout crowd at the Palestra, and he didn’t help silence them by going just 1 for 8 from long range and missing five free throws.
Kyle Lowry — who unlike many of the Team Melo players was actually representing his home town of Philadelphia — led Team Philly with 34 points . Warrick, who helped organize the event, added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and afterward he was understandably excited.
“I don’t know about LeBron, but I know Melo’s mad. And I’m going to talk to him about it.”
Team Philly was already discussing the possibility of taking their unofficial summer league title on the road to defend it against similar NBA-loaded teams from Atlanta or Cleveland (wonder if LeBron would play for them, too).
The New York Post reported late Sunday night that Anthony confirmed he had surgeries on both his knee and elbow at the same time in May. Anthony was dealing with elbow bursitis late last season, but the knee injury is a new concern. Anthony also said he’s dropped a few points and is down to 230.
“I did both of them,” he said of the surgeries. “They were bothering me for seven years.”