The Los Angeles Lakers fell in thrilling fashion in a double overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night. The Lakers showed fight as they were down by as many as 16 in the third quarter, then stormed back to put themselves in a position to win.
A Luka Doncic step-back 3-pointer near the end of regulation could have been the difference-maker if it rimmed out. The Lakers decided to not foul and paid the price as Doncic drilled the shot. The Mavericks took control in the final overtime period.
LeBron James had a shot to tie it with less than 30 seconds left in the second overtime, but he missed the wing 3-pointer. James struggled as he shot 32% from the field for 24 points. He did, however, add 16 rebounds and nine assists.
For LeBron, the matchup held special meaning since he was facing Doncic, one of the game’s best young players. But, he was also playing against Jason Kidd, the Lakers’ assistant coach from 2019 to 2021 who is now the head coach for Dallas. James broke down his special relationship with the Hall of Famer, crediting him for instilling patience in him.
“Not only has he been my coach, he has been my teammate, as well. Olympics. I’ve known J[ason] for quite a while. I went against him as well as a player and in the postseason as well, early days in Cleveland. He was in New Jersey at the time, but I’ve never been great at this.
“But he’s always tried to preach to me about patience. Some of the most calm, collective guys that I have ever been around, never gets too high, never gets too low, and always has a great calming voice about the positive side of things,” he said. “I haven’t been great at that. But I definitely listen to him. I just it’s hard to apply sometimes. But he’s definitely taught me a lot. Take that. I take that friendship and that brotherhood that we have that we’ve built over 20 years with a lot of gratitude.”
LeBron and Kidd won a championship together in the 2020 NBA Bubble when the latter was on the Lakers staff. They were also teammates on the 2008 Olympic Team, bringing the Gold back home for Team USA.
When Kidd was hired to be the Mavericks’ head coach in 2021, James shared mixed emotions about the news. Kidd called his time coaching James incredible and made sure to thank the Lakers organization on his way out.
During Kidd’s 10-year NBA coaching career, he’s worked with LeBron, Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetekounmpo. But it seems nobody was as special as the King, whom Kidd said will go down as the greatest of all time.
LeBron believes injuries have contributed to the Lakers’ late-game struggles
The Lakers’ loss to the Mavericks on Thursday was another instance of them failing to close out a game. LeBron pointed out that injuries are the main reason they’ve struggled to do so.
“It’s not about trust because we have trust with whoever’s on the floor but at the end of the day, teams have closing lineups. We got so many guys in and out of the lineup. There’s a lot of guys it’s banged up. So it’s almost like who’s in a good rhythm that night is going to be probably on the floor along with myself and Russ.”
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