Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Wednesday, November 5th
Nuggets93Final
Cavaliers89
Game 2: Tuesday, December 2nd
Cavaliers103Final
Nuggets115

Nuggets 93

 

Cavaliers 89

(0-4, 0-1 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    8:00 PM ET, November 5, 2003

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 27 19 31 1693
    CLE 16 28 20 2589

    Top Performers

    Denver: V. Lenard 15 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Cleveland: L. James 7 Pts, 11 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 Blk

    Ohio native Boykins makes most of homecoming

    CLEVELAND -- The kid from the local high school stole the show -- and all LeBron James could do was watch.

    Tiny Earl Boykins, who grew up in Cleveland, scored all 18 of his points in the second half as the Denver Nuggets ruined James' hyped home debut Wednesday night, 93-89 over the winless Cavaliers.

    Oh, and the James vs. Carmelo Anthony rivalry? Let's just say it needs some work. Maybe it's a good thing they'll play just once more this season.

    "I'm glad it's over. I don't got to hear about the matchup with me and LeBron until next month," said Anthony, who will next meet James on Dec. 3 in Denver.

    Anthony outscored James 14-7 in the eagerly awaited matchup between the NBA's two star rookies. But neither was able to get into the flow and disappointed a sellout crowd of 20,562, which kept waiting for one of them to take over.

    Instead, it was the 5-foot-5 Boykins who made all the big shots and plays.

    The former Cavs guard, who signed a $13.7 million, five-year deal with Denver as a free agent during the offseason, scored 10 points in the third quarter to help the Nuggets take control.

    After the score was tied at 55-all, Denver got a pair of 3-pointers from Jon Barry and two from Boykins while outscoring Cleveland 22-9 to close the period.

    Boykins added eight more points in the fourth as the Nuggets, who tied Cleveland for the NBA worst record (17-65) a year ago, held off a late Cavaliers' comeback.

    Another former Cleveland guard, Andre Miller, made two free throws in the final 23 seconds to seal Denver's third win of the season.

    James and the Cavaliers are still looking for win No. 1, and the top overall draft pick is now 0-3 in his career against his close friend Anthony.

    James had the better stat sheet: 11 rebounds and seven assists to Anthony's six and two.

    But James couldn't get his game going and went scoreless in the second half, and finished just 3-for-11 from the field. Anthony, coming off a 1-for-13 night in a loss at Indiana, was 6-for-17.

    More than 300 credentials were issued to see the first pro matchup between James and Anthony, the two most publicized rookies to enter the league at the same time since Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in 1979.

    "This is overwhelming," said Cavaliers coach Paul Silas, who feels the early comparisons of a James vs. Anthony rivalry to Magic vs. Bird are premature. "But that's the way it is."

    Before the game, the Goodyear blimp -- from James' hometown of Akron -- hovered overhead as the normally quiet streets outside Gund Arena buzzed with traffic, fans and scalpers seeking $300 for a lower level seat to James' home opener.

    Nike CEO Phil Knight, Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., rapper Jay-Z and suspended Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett were among the celebrities on hand.

    James, who used to attend Cavs' games while he was in high school, was asked if he ever imagined the Gund being on center stage.

    "No," he said. "But I knew after I got drafted that it was time to party."

    But for much of the first half the only celebrating Cleveland fans did came during a splashy pregame ceremony as the Nuggets opened an 11-point lead before the Cavs trimmed it to 46-44 at halftime.

    Game notes


    Cleveland, Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers are the league's only winless teams. ... James knows that his NBA career will never be simply about what he does on the floor. "Never happen," he said, surrounded by the usual media horde, which has chronicled his every move as a pro. "I'm all right with it. Ain't no way it'll be just about basketball. It's what I do every night." ... Cavs F Ira Newble, who has missed four games with knee tendinitis, will come off the injured list before Saturday's game against Washington. ... James and Anthony have never played on the same team. How would that be? "The NBA doesn't want to see us together," James said with a smile. "That would be trouble."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DEN
    CLE
    Points 93 89
    FGM-FGA 38-88 (.432) 33-87 (.379)
    3PM-3PA 7-19 (.368) 2-9 (.222)
    FTM-FTA 10-18 (.556) 21-31 (.677)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-42 19-56
    Assists 17 19
    Turnovers 16 16
    Steals 10 10
    Blocks 7 7
    Fast Break Points 5 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 19 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Denver
    Cleveland
    Voshon Lenard Lenard
    Points: 15
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    LeBron James James
    Points: 7
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 3