CLEVELAND Teams

Cavs lead by 17 at halftime

Kobe Bryant is just 2-for-9 from the field in his final visit to Cleveland, as his Lakers have fallen in a 64-47 halftime hole. LeBron James leads all players with 17 points and 7 assists. Live on ESPN, WatchESPN

LeBron passes Pierce ... for now

LeBron James entered the night 7 points behind Paul Pierce on the NBA's career scoring list. James has 14 tonight while Pierce, playing for the Clippers in Boston, has just 6, putting James ahead by 1 with both players still in progress.

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Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Cavs honor Kobe Bryant.

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Kyrie Irving started every game that he played in during his rookie season under then-Cavaliers coach Byron Scott. Why hasn't Lakers rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in 2015, been given the same opportunity under Scott, who is now the Lakers coach? "[Kyrie] was just a little bit more mature," Scott said. "At 19, he was a little bit more business-like at practice and games. D'Angelo still has a playfulness about him, sometimes in practice he's joking around and losing a little bit of focus. But he's 19. I understand that." Scott added, "I didn't say [his playfulness] was a bad thing. But it is a bad thing at times. There's always a time to be serious and there's always a time to joke around. So I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm saying he's 19. I understand it, I'm not saying it's bad or good, but Chris Paul wasn't like that and Kyrie was a little bit, but not that much. But like I said, again, they're all different. And I accept that."

LeBron James off to strong start

The Cavs forward had 10 points and 5 assists in the first quarter, helping the Cavaliers take a 35-25 lead over the Lakers in Kobe Bryant's final trip to Cleveland. Live on ESPN, WatchESPN

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Irving dances around Lakers defense (0:12)
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Randle amused at his missed dunk (0:18)

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

As Kobe Bryant receives a video tribute and a hearty introduction from the Cavaliers' PA man prior to Bryant's final game in Cleveland, LeBron James stands and applauds. "Ko-be!" chants then broke out from the crowd, which also gave Bryant a standing ovation.

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

D'Angelo on Kobe improved play: "It's great, just to see him finally making them, shots that he was taking earlier in the season that he was missing. Everybody was saying negative things about him. He's taking those same shots and he's making them, so it's a good feeling."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

LeBron James recently credited Kobe Bryant for providing motivation, saying that he always knew he had to be in the gym because "I knew I had to be better because of Kobe Bryant." Did Bryant feel the same way? "I always felt like there was somebody somewhere [working]," Bryant said. "Even when I was in high school, I always felt like somebody somewhere is working. That would be in the back of my mind. But at the same time, I would say, it's impossible for somebody to work as much as I am. I'm here all the time. It wasn't like I had to force myself to do it. There was no place I'd rather be, and I just don't know if anybody else or any other player at that time in high school had that sentiment. The players that I was around, it was always like, I've got to go punch the clock and do these drills. For me, it was like, there's no place I'd rather be. So I was comfortable in that and I knew that, and because I had that feeling, I knew it just wasn't possible for somebody to outwork me."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James rivals? Bryant doesn't think so. "I never looked to see what he was doing or something to kind of push me," Bryant said. "I just felt like we're completely different generations. I just missed that thing completely. It's not a Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird sort of thing. It was more like, from the time he came into the league, it was more helping him, giving him direction and advice. I was so much older by NBA years. So I've never had that [with him.]"

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Kobe Bryant said he and LeBron James are quite close. "We talk on the phone probably more than people know," Bryant said. "We talk about the game. We talk about different strategies that center around the game. We talk about things off the court, business related, [NBA] Players Association related. We speak with much more communication than people want to know."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Each of the last nine NBA Finals matchups has featured either LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, but never both."Our teams just never crossed paths, unfortunately," Bryant said before the two faced each other in Cleveland on Wednesday. "I wouldn't say it was weird or anything like that. It's just the ebb and flow of each season."

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Top 10 NBA Players of all time (1:43)

Indians have No. 11 farm system in 2016

This is a system of projectable, young, high-ceiling arms topped off with a couple of promising bats. Nevertheless, it's out of the top 10 because it's light on potential impact for 2016. Ranking all 30 farm systems (Insider)

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Watch: Kobe's last game in Cleveland

Tonight marks the 21st head-to-head meeting between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. LeBron has won 14 of the first 20 games. Live on ESPN, WatchESPN

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Kobe opens up about relationship with LeBron (1:49)
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Expectations high for OSU commit Nick Bosa (1:44)

Dave McMenamin ESPN Staff Writer 

LeBron James comes into tonight's game vs LAL needing 8 points to pass Paul Pierce (26,166) for 15th all-time.

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Cam's reponse, Bill Polian, Danny Trevathan

Ian Fitzsimmons dishes on Cam Newton's response to Super Bowl criticisms with former Panther teammate Ben Harstock. Plus, what's next for Peyton with Bill Polian as well as a visit with Super Bowl champions Danny Trevathan and Kayvon Webster of the Broncos.

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Can LeBron catch MJ?

J.A. Adande doesn't think so: "It's impossible, because even if LeBron wins five more championships he won't be able to erase his four NBA Finals losses." More experts chime in

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Tyronn Lue says Kobe once tried to fight him in practice (0:55)