LeBron James has been operating at an unbelievable level since returning from his brief stint in the health and safety protocols and he put the Los Angeles Lakers on his back in the second half to make sure they got their second straight victory on Sunday night.
LeBron recorded his second triple-double in the last three games with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic 106-94. With Anthony Davis out for a second straight game, James also picked up the rim protection as he added three massive blocks on the defensive end as well.
Things were looking questionable for the Lakers in the first half as they allowed the Magic to get far too many open looks and trailed by three at the half. But LeBron led the charge in the third quarter as the Lakers absolutely obliterated Orlando, outscoring them 36-10 including a 23-0 run to put things out of reach.
Talen Horton-Tucker also enjoyed his best showing in a long time as he finished with 19 points and six steals, which was the most by a Lakers player since Alex Caruso had six on Jan. 25, 2020. The third-year guard has gone through his share of growing pains throughout this season but made a number of excellent plays on both ends of the floor on this night.
Russell Westbrook was solid once again with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Carmelo Anthony added 13 points while hitting 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
The Lakers once again dominated in the two areas they love most, the paint and in transition, as they outscored the Magic by 14 inside while also holding a 20-2 advantage in fastbreak points. They were also able to take care of the ball for the most part with just 13 turnovers, though 11 of those came from James and Westbrook.
But that was the only negative to be seen from LeBron on this night as he completely took things over and looked nothing like a player in his 19th NBA season. The blocked shots in particular showed some spring in his legs as if he were 10 years younger.
Unfortunately, the Lakers still couldn’t rest easy late despite entering the fourth quarter with a 23-point lead. The team’s defensive effort completely disappeared and Orlando was able to chip the lead down to just 10, but James and Austin Reaves each hit a three to make sure the Magic couldn’t complete the comeback.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers kick off a three-game road trip on Wednesday night against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. They will then travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves on Friday night before ending the trip with a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Chicago Bulls.
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