“And one!” James shouted at the officials, pleading for a foul.
No, James doesn’t always get superstar calls.
James did get what he wanted Wednesday night, though, scoring 12 of his 34 points in the first quarter and leading the Cavs to a 98-88 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Isn’t getting hit in the head a foul?
“I guess not,” James said.
“Daniel and Mo did an incredible job of hitting shots in the second quarter,” James said.
Detroit cut its deficit to eight points with 4:15 left and James made plays at both ends of the court to give the Cavs another double-digit lead.
The Pistons, though, would not go away easily.
“It’s good to get tested once in a while,” James said.
“LeBron closes games for us by attacking the basket, and that’s what he did,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “They were physical with him and he didn’t get all the calls, but he kept attacking.”
Detroit’s first-year coach John Kuester was asked before the game if it helped him prepare his team to face James because he used to be one of his assistant coaches in Cleveland.
“The only thing that is good about knowing him is being able to say ‘Hi,’ to him,” Kuester said. “I think he would drive hard on his mom. It doesn’t matter who he’s playing against, he’s that type of competitor.”
Gordon said, “I have no idea,” when asked about the severity of the injury.
“Man, it seems like injuries have been a factor all season,” Villanueva said. “We can’t get a break.”
O’Neal tried to remove any doubt about his status for the next game.
“I’m playing,” he said.
The Central Division-leading Cavs have found a groove without O’Neal, winning eight of their last nine games after a .500 start.
James was 12 of 24, grabbed eight rebounds and made seven assists.
“I thought we had gotten some solid offensive production in the first half, especially from the bench,” Brown said. “Those guys did a nice job, and Bron was Bron. His numbers are amazing, but remarkable thing is that it looks so easy for him.”
Wallace, who played for the Cavs last season, had eight points and nine rebounds.
“Thank God for Ben,” Kuester said. “He’s been such a bright spot.”
“This is when Jonas, DaJuan and Austin find out this isn’t the summer league,” Kuester said.
NOTES: The Cavaliers will spend Thanksgiving in the Detroit area and have a team dinner at owner Dan Gilbert’s house before traveling to Charlotte. “I don’t know who’s cooking,” James said. “But I know Dan’s buying.” … Ohio-based teams won two of three meetings against Michigan-based squads in a five-day span. Ohio State won at Michigan on Saturday and the Lions beat the Browns at home the next day. … O’Neal posed for pictures and signed autographs after the game, including one for Kid Rock on an empty cup.