EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - If LeBron James becomes a free agent, he might have second thoughts about joining the salary-cap friendly New Jersey Nets.
These fans booed him when he dunked.
It happened not only once, but twice in the Cavaliers' 111-92 victory over the Nets last night.
Forget that James had 26 points and 14 assists, one shy of his career high. The King disappointed the 17,502 fans at the Izod Center when he gently dunked two first-half fastbreaks instead of putting on a show with a rim-rocking jams.
"I guess that's how much they love you when they boo you," James said after the Cavaliers won their fifth straight game by opening a 20-point first-quarter lead and coasting.
When James did unleash a furious jam later, the fans who made up one of the largest home crowds the worst team in the NBA has drawn this season were back on his side - and no doubt hoping he noticed their appreciation.
The win completed a two-game sweep of the Knicks and Nets over the past three days, the two teams that have a ton of money to throw at James this summer. James put on a show for both.
"From my seat he looked good doing everything," Nets interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe said. "I have seen him enough, seen him on television and a number of times in person and he keeps getting better and better."
James was outstanding getting his teammates going against the Nets.
J.J. Hickson added 20 points and 13 rebounds in his second straight start for the injured Shaquille O'Neal and Antawn Jamison had 19 points as the Cavaliers won their fifth straight game. Mo Williams added 16.
"That's his M.O.," Nets point guard Devin Harris said of James. "He tries to get other people involved and gets a ton of assists in the first quarter, then looks to be more aggressive as the game goes on. No different than tonight."
Brook Lopez had 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead New Jersey (6-54), which has lost eight straight to the Cavaliers, including all four this year.
Rookie Terrence Williams added a career-high 21 points for the Nets, who never got closer than 11 points after being outscored 35-15 in the opening 12 minutes.
"When you fall behind 20 against the best team in the NBA, face it, it's going to be tough," Williams said.
James was terrific in the first period, scoring 10 points and picking up eight assists. He also took the time to tease the crowd on the uncontested breakaways, with both plays eliciting prolonged boos from the fans.
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