Cavaliers prepared for LeBron visit
LeBron James is coming back to Ohio for his first NBA game since splitting this summer to play in Florida.
King James won't get the usual royal treatment.
"It's going to be 10 times worse than when Carlos Boozer came back," said Milwaukee's Drew Gooden, who played four seasons in Cleveland. "I think 20,000 fans are going to have headaches from booing."
Indeed, the Cleveland fans are going to let him hear it. But the Cavaliers want to make sure that's all they're doing.
To ensure the safety of players and fans, and ease concerns about potential trouble, the team is beefing up security in and around Quicken Loans Arena for James' hyped return on Thursday with Miami, a game Cleveland fans have eagerly awaited since July when the two-time league MVP famously announced his decision to join the Heat.
James said Friday night in Miami that he has already started envisioning his return.
"It's going to be a real hostile environment, I know," James said before the Heat hosted the Philadelphia 76ers. "It's going to be pretty intense."
Still, he has no worries. The Heat have been involved with the planning of some security-related issues surrounding the game, and James has a sense of what to expect that night.
"I'm not concerned at all," James said. "The league is a good league and they do their best to try to make sure us players and the fans have a great time in those games. We're going in there to try to get a win. But at the same time, I know it'll be pretty hostile."
Cavaliers spokesman Tad Carper said team wants "to make people feel safe coming to the game," and that includes James.
The Cavaliers have been working with the league and city officials since the NBA's schedule was released in August. The main goal is to provide a secure environment for everyone without compromising the inherent advantage Cleveland has in playing at home.
The team is asking fans to refrain from wearing any profane or vulgar clothing directed at James or his family, and any obscene signs will be confiscated. However, that doesn't mean the Cavaliers are telling folks not to express their opinions toward the superstar forward.
They just want to keep it clean.
"We think this is a great opportunity for our fans to positively show their support for their team, the organization and the city," Carper said. "There is a way to express yourself, enjoy yourself and show your excitement without crossing the line and exceeding the boundaries that are in place."
There will be uniformed police and undercover officers stationed near Miami's bench and along the tunnel leading to the visitor's locker room. Instead of serving plastic beer bottles, vendors will pour beverages into cups to prevent anyone from using containers as projectiles.
In 2001, Cleveland fans bombarded the field at Browns Stadium with thousands of plastic bottles - some of them full of liquid - after a controversial call in a loss to Jacksonville.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league does not comment on security matters.
The Cavaliers will adjust their in-game security procedures accordingly, Carper said. There will be personnel on the lookout for any inebriated patrons causing trouble, and the team is prepared to remove anyone from the arena who doesn't comply with rules.
Fans entering the arena will pass through full-body metal detectors, which have been in place since owner Dan Gilbert bought the team in 2005.
"We have a high standard for security that exceeds what the NBA requires from us," Carper said. "We don't want people to feel like they're in a police state. We're going to take the proper steps that need to be taken, but we want fans to come down and have a good time."
Next week, Carper and other team officials plan to appear on radio and local television to remind fans planning to attend the game to act properly.
Warriors 104, Timberwolves 94: At Minneapolis, Dorell Wright scored a career-high 30 points and set a franchise record with nine 3-pointers to lead Golden State past Minnesota.
76ers 102, Nets 86: Jrue Holiday had 20 points and 13 assists, leading Philadelphia past visiting New Jersey.
Cavaliers 92, Grizzlies 86: Mo Williams scored 25 points, leading Cleveland past visiting Memphis.
Mavericks 106, Heat 95: Caron Butler scored seven of his 23 points in a key run for Dallas to start the second half and the host Mavericks beat struggling Miami.
Hawks 99, Knicks 90: Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 21 points off the bench, and visiting Atlanta snapped New York's five-game winning streak.
Bulls 96, Kings 85: Derrick Rose had 30 points for Chicago in a win at Sacramento.
Bucks 104, Bobcats 101: Brandon Jennings scored 32 points and made two free throws with 5.7 seconds left to seal host Milwaukee's win over Charlotte.
Magic 100, Wizards 99: Dwight Howard scored a season-high 32 points, including the game-winning putback with 4.3 seconds left, and had 11 rebounds to lift Orlando at Washington.
COLLEGE TOP 25
The game between top-ranked Duke and Oregon was merely a formality for the first on-court meeting of Blue Devils star Kyle Singler and his little brother E.J., a sophomore forward for the Ducks.
And for Kyle, it was even more: His first chance to play in his home state since leaving for Durham, N.C.
"Every moment I was out there I was trying to soak it all in," the elder Singler brother said. "Trying to look at the signs, trying to find the people I knew in the stands. I was focused in and trying to win, but the environment was great."
He made the most of it, with 30 points and five rebounds to lead Duke to a 98-71 victory Saturday.
The game was dubbed by one fan as "The Singler Mingler." The brothers grew up in Medford, Ore., about 275 miles to the south of where the game was played at the Rose Garden in Portland.
The eventual outcome didn't much matter when the brothers hugged tightly after the game.
"It was definitely fun," E.J. Singler said. "One of the funnest games I've ever played in."
The younger Singler scored 14 points, all in the second half, for Oregon (4-2).
It was the first time the Singlers played against each other, and the first time they were on the same court in a real game since they led South Medford High School to the state championship in 2007.
Kyle Singler, the taller and heavier of the two at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, was named the most outstanding player of last year's Final Four, leading the Blue Devils to the national championship.
He opened the scoring with a fallaway jumper and Duke never trailed. His 3-pointer midway through the first half put the Blue Devils up 20-7.
Duke went up 31-12 in the first half on Miles Plumlee's alley-oop dunk. The Ducks narrowed it to 33-23 later in the period, but Duke led 40-25 at halftime.
E.J. Singler had two fouls and no points in the first half. His lone attempt from the field was an airball.
The younger Singler, at 6-6 and 210 pounds, was averaging 11.6 points and 5.2 rebounds going into the game.
E.J. said it was a little "weird" when he glanced over during warmups and saw his brother knocking down shots. He has always looked up to Kyle, both in basketball and as a brother.
"I'll remember it for the rest of my life," he said of the game.
No. 5 Pittsburgh 82, Pennsylvania 58: At Pittsburgh, Ashton Gibbs scored 12 points, leading the Panthers (7-0) past Penn (2-3).
No. 6 Kansas 87, Arizona 79: At Las Vegas, Marcus Morris had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead Kansas (6-0) past Arizona (5-1) in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational.
No. 9 Syracuse 80, Georgia Tech 76: At Atlantic City, N.J., Kris Joseph scored 19 points and Syracuse (6-0) beat Georgia Tech (4-2) to win the Legends Classic.
Richmond 65, No. 10 Purdue 54: At Hoffman Estates, Ill., Kevin Anderson scored 28 points to lead Richmond (6-1) past Purdue (5-1) in the Chicago Invitational Challenge championship game.
No. 16 Georgetown 87, UNC Ashville 72: At Washington, Austin Freeman tied a Georgetown (6-0) record by making seven 3-pointers and finished with 32 points, leading the Hoyas past UNC Ashville (2-3).
No. 19 Illinois 78, Western Michigan 63: At Kalamazoo, Mich., Mike Tisdale's 18 points lifted Illinois (6-1) past Western Michigan (1-3).
No. 20 Texas 62, Rice 59: At Austin, Texas, Cory Joseph made a layup with 37 seconds to play and the Longhorns (5-1) held off the Owls (3-3).
No. 23 BYU 74, Saint Mary's 73: At South Padre Island, Texas, Jimmer Fredette scored 24 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 10 seconds left, to lead BYU (8-0) past Saint Mary's (6-1) in the South Padre Island Championship.