There was a lot of movement in the Eastern Conference before the trade deadline ended Thursday, but LeBron James proved he's still the king.
Cleveland has been battered and beaten at times this season, and with Kevin Love out for at least six weeks, teams made moves trying to usurp the Cavaliers' hold on the throne.
James recorded his sixth triple-double of the season Thursday by scoring 18 points with 15 assists and 13 rebounds in a 119-104 win over the Knicks. Kyrie Irving scored a team-high 23 points.
James' 15 assists tied his career high in a triple-double. He has two triple-doubles this season with 14-plus assists against the Knicks.
Speaking of the Knicks, beleaguered ex-star Charles Oakley attended the game in Cleveland, but didn't appear to be rooting for New York. Instead, Barkley was sitting by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
Courtney Lee led the Knicks with 25 points. Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points on 9-of-25 shooting.
How about this connection?
Harden ➡️ LOUUUUU ☔️ pic.twitter.com/XNVPVrGUZZ
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) 24 февраля 2017 г.
Stud of the Night:
Damian Lillard scored 33 points with five rebounds in a 112-103 win over the Magic. The Trail Blazers point guard rebounded from two brutal shooting efforts before the All-Star break. It was his first 30-point game since the end of January.
The Pistons put nearly everyone in their starting lineup on the trading block this week, including shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but the former lottery pick stayed in Detroit and helped the Pistons beat the Hornets 114-108 in overtime by pouring in 33 points.
Dud of the Night:
Pelicans' plan for the future: DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis had monster games while losing 129-99 to the Rockets, but no one else on the team did anything. Davis led the way with 29 points and nine rebounds, and Cousins added 27 points with 14 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Newly acquired Omri Casspi was the only other player in double-figures with 14 points, but he is out 4-6 weeks with a broken thumb.
New Orleans may be more exciting to watch the rest of the season after the trade, but they don't have the depth to make any noise in the packed Western Conference.
It didn't take long for James Harden and Lou Williams to click: