LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers managed to outlast a rising Memphis Grizzlies team in a thriller as they escaped with a narrow 109-108 win to extend their current winning streak to seven games and improve to 14-2 during the 2019-20 NBA season.
As the wins have piled up for the Lakers, James also continues to show the league he is still a force to be reckoned with as he is currently averaging 25.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and a league-leading 10.8 assists. His play has reinforced the idea Los Angeles is a true contender with even more room for improvement as the roster continues to gel together.
Any team with James and Anthony Davis on it will be able to manufacture points on a nightly basis, but it has been the defense that has powered Los Angeles to the league’s best record. Head coach Frank Vogel has built his reputation on the back of his defenses and this iteration of the Lakers has been one of the toughest teams to play against.
James has already hit some historic milestones this season and he added another one in the win against the Grizzlies as he passed Derek Harper for 15th on the NBA’s all-time steals list. The 34-year-old notched two steals in the contest, giving him a career total of 1,958 steals.
The All-Star forward is currently averaging 1.3 steals a game and is on pace to move up higher on the list as he is only 25 steals away from matching Allen Iverson (1,983). However, Mookie Blaylock (2,075) and Karl Malone (2,085) will remain safe until next season.
Despite playing in his 17th season, James has looked rejuvenated on the defensive end as he is constantly making the correct rotations and hanging with his man on the perimeter. His blend of size, strength, and speed make him a nightmare for opposing players to go up against when he is locked in and that has often been the case throughout the early goings of the season.
With how well James has taken care of his body, it would not be surprising to see him play several more seasons at an elite level which means he would be well-positioned to continue etching his name in the record books. For now, however, James is focused on putting the Lakers in position to win their 17th NBA championship.