LeBron James is already exceeding the loftiest of expectations.
James had 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, but turned the ball over seven times in Cleveland’s 95-86 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
The 18-year-old sensation had just two turnovers in 42 minutes in his 25-point NBA debut in Sacramento on Wednesday.
Cleveland, meanwhile, has yet to capitalize on the James’ scoring, mostly due to a lack of defense. The Cavaliers have allowed 100.5 points per game in two losses.
“I’m not reflecting on how many we’re going to lose,” James said. “I’m reflecting on how good of a team we can become. We’re a young team. I don’t want to make excuses, but we have to learn how to tough it out during the stretch.”
The Cavs committed 24 turnovers and were only 7-for-12 from the line.
“This ‘young team’ stuff is wearing thin very quickly,” Cavaliers coach Paul Silas said. “We’ve got to learn. I just can’t stand losing.”
Cleveland is wrapping up a season-opening, three-game road trip.
Portland lost its season opener 99-92 to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Zach Randolph, a second-year forward, led Portland with 22 points, and Rasheed Wallace added 21. Damon Stoudamire had 16 points and six assists, and Jeff McInnis scored 19 points.
“We’re a team that’s got to play hard every night,” Stoudamire said. “I don’t think that everybody in this room understands that we’re not a good team, we’re not good enough to where we can play four quarters. We’re not good enough right now.”
Portland guard Derek Anderson did not make the trip because of back spasms. His status for this game is uncertain.
STANDINGS (through Oct. 30): Cavaliers - 8th place, 2 GB, Central Division. Trail Blazers - 4th place (tied), 1 GB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Cavaliers - James, 23 ppg and 8.5 apg; Boozer, 12.5 rpg. Trail Blazers - Stojakovic, 22 ppg; Miller, 9 rpg; Bibby, 7 apg.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Trail Blazers, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 2; Trail Blazers, 114-95. At Cleveland, Wallace had 20 of his 29 points in the first half to lead the Trail Blazers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cavaliers - 0-2 on the road; Trail Blazers - 0-0 at home.