So a prince and princess go to Brooklyn to watch a king play basketball . . .
Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. But it was reality Monday night at Barclays Center.
And King James and the Cavaliers proved to be a royal pain for the Nets.
With Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, sitting courtside, LeBron James had 18 points and seven assists to lead the Cavs to a 110-88 win over the Nets. "For them to take time out of their schedule to come here, first time watching a basketball game, it was an honor that I'd be that guy they decided they wanted to watch," James said.
He scored the first nine points of the third quarter for the Cavs, beginning with a floater plus the foul for a three-point play. His step-back baseline jumper over Bojan Bogdanovic opened a 59-53 lead with 9:18 remaining in the quarter.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter to an ovation and sea of camera flashes. They sat down just in time to see the Cavs pull away.
James lobbed alley-oops to Tristan Thompson on consecutive possessions in the final minute of the third quarter to help Cleveland close with a 17-2 run for an 85-67 lead.
James credited the turnaround to the Cavs pushing the tempo. Nets coach Lionel Hollins, however, gave full credit to James. "I think that it was the start of the third quarter when LeBron decided to come out and turn on his motor," he said. "He put it in a different gear, and we couldn't stop it."
As for the remaining two- thirds of the Cavs' big three, Kevin Love had 19 points and 14 rebounds and Kyrie Irving added seven points and five assists as Cleveland extended its winning streak to seven games.
King James met with the royal couple after the game and said he gave them cupcakes and jerseys. "I gave them a present," James said, "and thanked them for coming here to America to watch our game."