LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were on opposite coasts leading the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat to respective wins, only for the close friends to have their paths intertwined.
Hours before James and the Lakers would snap a two-game losing streak, Wade delivered a buzzer-beater for the Heat. His bank-shot from the three-point line was more of a desperate fling, but it counted all the same in a 126-125 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Wade said in his postgame interview that he channeled ‘Mamba Mentality,’ in reference to Kobe Bryant’s running bank-shot over Wade in December 2009.
As for James, he saved a possession late in the fourth quarter by draining a corner 3-pointer. “I told him I was going to run out on the court to call a timeout because we had nothing,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said.
“When he released it, I’m pretty sure he called it. I think he had his hands in the air before it went in. That’s what great players do. That’s an impossible shot, and we needed it at that moment because we had kind of stalled out offensively. A big-time shot by one of the all-time greats.”
James shot the three while raising his right leg a la Dirk Nowitzki’s patented fadeaway. “Just trusted my mechanics, trusted my shot. Gave it a chance and it went in,” James said.
Naturally the conversation shifted to whether he or Wade faced more of an obstacle to sink the clutch shot. “The degree of difficulty, mine was a little bit more difficult than his,” James said.
“His was weird. I don’t even know if it was a shot. You know how you play “Pop-a-Shot,” he had to (throw it) because he had no time. I think my shot was more difficult.”
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