All eyes have been on Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James during the 2022-23 season as he creeps closer and closer to surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
In the thrilling overtime win against the New York Knicks, James was able to come within 100 points of Abdul-Jabbar’s record but he wound up making even more history as a passer.
The King would first pass Mark Jackson for fifth on the NBA’s all-time assist list after finding Troy Brown Jr. in the corner for a 3. He immediately passed Steve Nash for fourth all-time on the next play when he dropped off a gorgeous pass to Thomas Bryant for a dunk. In the process, James became the first player in NBA history to be in the top five for both points and assists.
He capped off the historic night by recording his first triple-double of the season, scoring 28 points, dishing 11 assists and pulling down 10 rebounds.
Anthony Davis returned to the lineup after a one-game absence and stepped up big time. Davis was able to play more minutes after a successful run off the bench, playing 37 minutes including all of the overtime period. The star big man was efficient with his shot attempts, going 9-of-16 from the field and shooting 9-of-11 from the free throw line. He also added an assist and two steals, though did commit five turnovers.
Rui Hachimura made his second start with the Lakers and looked like a natural playing alongside James and Davis. Hachimura took advantage of several transition opportunities where he was rewarded for running hard, and in half court possessions took what the defense gave him.
With James and Davis drawing so much attention from the defense, Hachimura found himself open for catch-and-shoot jumpers. He was pivotal part of the offense, scoring 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 40 minutes.
Russell Westbrook was finally able to snap a multi-game slump shooting the basketball as he found more success attacking the painted area. Although his jumper still left much to be desired, Westbrook shot 7-of-13 from the field but most of his impact came as a playmaker as he racked up eight assists off the bench.
What’s next for Lakers
Los Angeles continues its road trip with a game on Thursday against the Indiana Pacers, who have started to fall back down to earth. The Lakers’ five-game road trip then comes to an end on Saturday when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans, who are also enduring their own rough patch.
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