LeBron clears way for Durant slam, gets chase down

By Alex Butler  |  Jan. 16, 2018 at 10:48 AM
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Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James knew Kevin Durant was going to throw down a massive dunk, so he got out of the way.

James made the 'business decision' with about two minutes remaining in the opening quarter Monday during the Golden State Warriors' 118-108 victory at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Guard Dwyane Wade drove into the corner on a Cavaliers possession, before throwing the ball away for a turnover. Durant grabbed the ball in transition and sprinted down court, with James trying to cut off his route to the hoop.

James ran into the paint and appeared ready to draw a charge. But he quickly changed his mind when he saw Durant elevating and pulling back his right hand for a massive dunk.

Durant got the two points as James watched from below. The Warriors cut the Cavaliers' lead to 34-31 on the play.

But that was far from the end of the back-and-forth between the two former NBA MVPs. James got his revenge in the second quarter, when he followed Durant to the rim and finished with a chase-down block against the backboard on the Durantula's attempt.

"Like our effort tonight," told reporters after the game, according to Cleveland.com. "If we continue on that, going into our next few games, then I like where we are."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr talked about where James and Durant rank all time before the game.

"I think they are both going to end up as two of the greatest players of all time," Kerr told reporters, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "LeBron's body of work has obviously already put them there. He's one of the top few ever. KD feels like he's on his way."

Durant and James each scored a game-high 32 points in the contest. Durant had eight assists and five rebounds. James tallied eight rebounds, six assists, four blocks and three assists, but also had eight turnovers.

"It's always fun when you get a guy you've been following so long that you get to play against," Durant told reporters in his postgame comments. "You get to see his progression as a player since I've been in the league and we kinda met each other at the top it feels like."

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