A hurricane passed through the Crypto.com Arena tonight. At 37 years old and with a thousand and one battles behind him, LeBron James signed a historic performance with 56 points that revived the Los Angeles Lakers and knocked down the Golden State Warriors in depression (124-116).
The only certainty for these unpredictable and unreliable Lakers is that LeBron is still one of the most decisive players in the NBA.
After four straight losses and with a project that falters in every corner, LeBron gave life to the Lakers with a monumental performance: 56 points (19 of 31 in shots, 6 of 11 in triples, 12 of 13 free throws) , 10 rebounds, 3 assists and a block.
“King James” not only held the Lakers down when the Warriors threatened to blow up the game, but he capped off the comeback in the fourth quarter with three sensational three-pointers in a row.
The 56 points represent LeBron’s highest score with the Lakers and put him in the exclusive club of players who have scored more than 50 points with more than 37 years, which only includes Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Jamal Crawford.
To underpin LeBron’s evening, the Lakers had Russell Westbrook (20 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists), Malik Monk (12 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals), Austin Reaves (10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals) and Carmelo Anthony (14 points and 8 rebounds).
Instead, the Warriors left Los Angeles with more doubts than they brought with them as they have lost four straight and only had two wins in their last ten games.
Stephen Curry (30 points and 4 rebounds), Jordan Poole (23 points and 5 assists) and Jonathan Kuminga (18 points and 5 rebounds) were the best for the Warriors of a poor Klay Thompson (3 of 13 for 7 points, 7 rebounds , 6 rebounds and 4 assists).
LEBRON FROM START TO FINISH
A triple by Malik Monk after crossing the entire court to recover a ball reflected the change of chip of the Angelenos (15-6 with 6.55 to play).
Playing as five, LeBron James put his boots on in the zone (13 points in the first quarter) and the Lakers dominated the opening quarter thanks also to Austin Reaves who multiplied on defense (32-25).
With a tough 8-22 run, Poole reinvigorated the Warriors from the triple and with a very warlike second unit in which Jonathan Kuminga also stood out (40-47 with 6.47 to go).
Steve Kerr’s men began to circulate the ball with ease while the Lakers suddenly lost all concentration from the start.
However, triples by LeBron, Reaves and Monk allowed the Lakers to reach the break with a pulse after having been losing 14 points in a regrettable second quarter for the locals (30-42).
After the first half (62-67), LeBron was already the master of the game with 26 points, but the Warriors had dazzled with the perimeter (9 of 14 in triples) and with the abundant contribution of their bench (36 points against 9 for the Lakers).
Again erratic in both baskets, those in purple and gold watched the Warriors go on the scoreboard with an increasingly toned Curry (65-77 with 8.09 to play)
With an infinite display of resources to score, LeBron added 14 more points in the third quarter and supported some Lakers on their shoulders who trusted their luck to what their star could do (89-94)
Three triples in a row from a LeBron unleashed turned the game around against some Warrios who couldn’t believe what was happening (100-97 with 7.53 left).
The duel rose even more in revolutions, since Curry raised his performances to contain LeBron’s gale and the triples of Augustin and Reaves were automatically answered by those of Curry himself and Kuminga (114-112 with 3.29 to go).
A triple by Monk followed by an “alley-oop” by LeBron seemed almost definitive (119-112 with 2.10 left), but two consecutive baskets by Wiggins and Curry narrowed the score again (119-116 with 1.06 left).
In the end, Carmelo Anthony hit a providential 3-pointer from the corner and LeBron had a full smile after a memorable night.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.