LeBron James hopped off the court and limped to the locker room, unsure if he'd be able to return for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sure enough, the All-Star forward came back and became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 points. That still wasn't enough to beat the Boston Celtics.
"It doesn't make me happy to do it in a losing effort," James said after the 92-87 loss Wednesday night. "To be in the record books is a tribute to my teammates, myself and my family."
Ray Allen scored 22 points and Kevin Garnett added 18 with 11 rebounds for Boston to help the NBA's top team win its third straight and improve to 2-2 for the season against the defending Eastern Conference champions.
"We had our hands full (with James), but I thought we did a pretty good job," Allen said. "I think we gutted it out."
James sprained his ankle and missed the last 4:24 of the first half, but X-rays were negative and he was back for the start of the second.
"I know my ankle, and tomorrow it's going to be a lot worse," James said.
James reached the 10,000-point milestone at 23 years and 59 days, more than a year younger than Kobe Bryant was when he did it in 2003 (24 years, 193 days). It took James 368 games to do it - the ninth-fewest games in league history.
In other NBA games, it was: Denver 138, Seattle 96; New Orleans 120, Phoenix 103; Utah 103, Detroit 95; Chicago 113, Indiana 107; New York 113, Charlotte 89; Philadelphia 101, Orlando 89; Toronto 107, Minnesota 85; Atlanta 123, Sacramento 117; and Portland 82, the Los Angeles Clippers 80.
At Boston, the Cavaliers shot just 38 percent from the floor and James was 7-for-24.
"When you have an off-shooting night like this, it's tough to pull a game out," James said. "Especially against the best team in the league."
The Cavaliers were playing their third game with four new players, including Ben Wallace, acquired in an 11-player, three-team deal at the trading deadline.
"They're so new, we really didn't see them," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "They're going to be so much better because of that trade."
Cavs coach Mike Brown was ejected with 42 seconds left in the third quarter after he had to be restrained by his assistants while arguing a foul call against James.
Neither James' performance on the court nor Brown's outburst could help Cleveland close what was a double-digit deficit most of the game. After hitting the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to make it 75-66, the Cavs never got closer than 10 points until the final minute.