If there was any doubt that LeBron James might be slowing down due to age and injuries, he threw that thought right out the window on Sunday night when he led the Los Angeles Lakers to a solid victory over the Orlando Magic.
James previously said he has been feeling healthier and healthier since returning to the lineup, and it showed in their win against the Magic as he looked more spry and moved extremely well on both ends of the floor. James was instrumental in blowing the game open in the third quarter and finished the evening with a triple-double of 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to go along with three blocks.
While getting back to physical form has enabled James to play better, he credited his energized performance against the Magic to quality sleep and also said he felt inspired after flying to see his son Bronny James’ high school team play in Arizona on Saturday night.
“Sleep and inspiration from my son and his team,” James said. “I got some pretty good sleep in OKC the day we got in and the day of the game and yesterday I was pretty tired flying and things of that nature but watching those guys and watching my son and his team play, I got some energy from that. Then I got some more sleep today and was able to come in with some energy and put it out on the floor.”
As far as sleep goes, James seemed well-rested considering he got over 12 hours of shut-eye in.
“I slept last night from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. Ate breakfast and went back to sleep from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. So that’s pretty good, right?”
Quality sleep can be hard to come by for NBA players who have to often travel between time zones, but James was ahead of the game as he has made it an emphasis to get as much rest as possible in recent years. Rest and recovery is every bit as important as strength and conditioning training, and for someone like James who will be turning 37 years old at the end of the month, ensuring his body is well-taken care of is of the utmost importance.
As far as seeing his son play, Bronny has begun to really develop into a quality prospect and it is no surprise that the King was inspired after seeing him put on a show this past weekend.
The Lakers had a strenuous schedule to begin the 2021-22 season as they played almost every other day, but it has begun to lighten up in recent weeks as they have been afforded multiple days off. Fortunately, they get a couple of days to recuperate in Los Angeles before they leave for a difficult three-game road trip starting with the Dallas Mavericks.
James credits third-quarter run to fans’ energy
The Lakers actually started the third quarter trailing 52-49, but James and the team flipped the game on its head when they went on a 23-0 run that effectively put the game away early. Even though James was the driving force behind the run, he said it was an all-around great performance from L.A. and even credited the Staples Center fans for doing their part.
“I felt like we’re all just picking off energy off each other. And also, the fans. We love playing in front of our fans here. We haven’t been here in a couple games, so obviously, they’re excited. It’s the weekend.
“We try to do what we need to do out on the floor and give our fans energy. They give us energy. We give each other energy as far as teammates and that results into a good win for us.”
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