Kobe vs LeBron Finale: Cleveland Cavaliers Blow Out Los Angeles Lakers 120-108 [Watch Highlights]
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Kobe Bryant and LeBron James met for the final time and it was a battle to remember, as the two superstars fought toe-to-toe before the Cleveland Cavaliers ran away with a 120-108 win against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant, who is playing in the final season of his illustrious career, has one of his best games this season, finishing with 26 points on 11-for-16 shooting to go along with five rebounds. The 37-year-old superstar sent the crowd into frenzy with a beautiful post move in the first quarter, making James bite into his head fake before a scoop layup.
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Bryant fought tooth and nail with James for the majority of the match, and the 20-year veteran, who has been dealing with injuries over the past years, enjoyed every moment of their physical matchup.
“It was just fun,” Bryant said via ESPN. “I enjoy the physicality of it. Playing against him is fun because of his size. It’s always fun to bump with him and to have that physicality, backing him down and driving and bumping. That’s fun.”
James also had a big night, tallying 24 points on top of seven assists and five rebounds for the Cavaliers. Though he struggled stopping Bryant’s vaunted fadeaway shots from the post, James said he also relished every bit of his final encounter with the Lakers superstar, which was their 22nd meeting in their respective careers.
“I wish I could play against him every single night,” James said. “Just that competitive juice, that feeling of just going against one of the greatest, you can never take that for granted.”
Kyrie Irving, who also had nothing but praises for Bryant before and after the game, finished with 26 points and nine assists. Channing Frye, who started in place of injured Kevin Love, had his most productive game in a Cavaliers uniform with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Tristan Thompson racked up 10 points and 14 boards.
With the win, the Cavaliers improved to 46-18 and are now 2.5 games ahead of the 43-20 Toronto Raptors in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
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