The Lakers did a good job of getting after it at the beginning of the game as they quickly raced out to an early 25-point lead and never looked back. Atlanta was playing on the second end of a back-to-back situation and seemingly did not have the energy to hang with a Los Angeles team that has found their groove on both ends.
James was electric as he finished with yet another double-double (33 points and 12 assists). He also added seven rebounds and hit six of his 10 three-point attempts.
James seemed to have extra energy in this game with Kobe Bryant sitting courtside and he discussed what it was like to have him in attendance.
“It’s fantastic. I know he came to a game last year and just having him in the building, just knowing what he’s meant to this franchise, what he means to L.A… And for me and my teammates, what it means to be a part of Lakers Nation and the Lakers family, it’s a beautiful thing,” James said.
“For me, grew up watching him, admiring him. I was one of the kids, obviously, who had a chance to come straight out of high school, so he did it and I was just watching him… it’s just so surreal for me just from a kid from Akron to be able to have a guy like Kobe just take time out of his day even at this point in my career is still special.”
Bryant has made only a couple of appearances at Staples Center since retiring from the NBA, so it must have been exciting for James and the rest of the building to see the Lakers legend in attendance. Bryant and James shared a brief moment on the court when the latter came over to greet the former, much to the delight of the fans.
With the five-time NBA champion watching, James put on an absolute show as he had complete control of Los Angeles offense, constantly finding his teammates while torching Atlanta from the outside. The Hawks had zero answers for James and he continues to prove that his resurgence in his 17th NBA season is real.
The Lakers close out their four-game homestand with a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder and they should be able to extend their winning streak.