Even in Year 19, LeBron James knows how to close out games as evidenced by his performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
James was too much of a problem for the Rockets all night as he was physically imposing getting to the basket. But in the fourth quarter, he took over the offense and scored layup after layup. Los Angeles had been trailing up to that point, but James was able to hand them the lead and the team never looked back from that point forward.
Ultimately, the star ended up with 30 points to go along with 10 assists and head coach Frank Vogel made sure to highlight James as the reason the Lakers eventually took home the win.
James also had several highlight dunks throughout the night, which made Vogel gush over how he has been able to stay this physically dominant for so long.
“I wouldn’t say there is any difference now than two years ago. He’s still playing at a super high level. Until he rolled his ankle the other day, he was probably shooting the ball better than two years ago. I don’t know if the numbers support that, but he came out of the gates super-hot. He’s still going.”
So far, James has felt like he has been pacing himself in order to get through the regular season, so his performance against the Rockets was a reminder that he can take over games when he is engaged and when the time calls for it. Houston is obviously not much of a threat given the state of their roster, but seeing James look like himself in his prime is encouraging for Los Angeles’ prospects going forward.
The obvious concern is that it took this much effort and energy from James to win against a lowly Rockets squad, but at this early stage of the season, the Lakers should just be concerned with racking up wins as they work through things as a team.
Fortunately, they get a chance to rid a black mark on their season so far when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit Staples Center on Thursday.
James explains being game-time decision despite previously tweeting excitement to play
The night before the Rockets game, James tweeted out that he was excited to play basketball. James was then listed as questionable and a game-time decision due to an ankle injury before ultimately playing, so he explained why he tweeted that.
“I just felt like I had a great 48 hours after the game on Sunday as far as my preparation, as far as my ankle and as far as me getting back to feeling like myself. I was also happy to be watching the Monday Night [Football] game watching [Patrick] Mahomes throw the ball sideways with defenders running out at him and also watching a bunch of NBA games as well at the same time. The competitive juices just started flowing so that’s when I sent the tweet out.”
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