The new-look Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the best teams post-trade deadline and they proved their mettle again as they were able to overcome a 27-point deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks in what might be their best win during the 2022-23 season.
It was a tale of two halves for the Lakers as they came out of the gates with a lack of urgency but really things on in the second half. The energy was palpable on both ends of the floor which vaulted Los Angeles to an improbable victory that they absolutely needed.
However, there was a major scare in the third quarter when LeBron James landed awkwardly and appeared to hurt his ankle. Microphones seemed to catch James saying he heard a pop, but after a few moments, he shook it off and was able to play the remainder of the game.
In his postgame interview with ESPN, James talked about his foot and acknowledged that there was no way he could sit down the stretch. “It’s a little sore. I stepped on Powell’s foot on that drive but I knew I couldn’t come out or not finish the game. Every game is key for us and tonight was a huge win for us.”
It was clear James wasn’t quite himself immediately after the fall as he tried his best to shake off the pain. He didn’t look comfortable moving laterally and even lost his handle on a couple of possessions before settling in in the fourth quarter.
However, the King gutted things out in the closing minutes and came up clutch, bullying the smaller Dallas perimeter players to get all the way to the rim. James would finish the afternoon with 25 points and eight rebounds, a hardy performance considering his health and what was at stake.
Although the victory was great to see, James was seen leaving the arena with a noticeable limp. It remains to be seen how his foot will feel the rest of the road trip, but it would be reasonable to expect him to sit the next game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.
Darvin Ham doesn’t expect LeBron James and Anthony Davis to sit back-to-backs
Darvin Ham previously said that he doesn’t expect Anthony Davis or James to sit back-to-backs the rest of the season unless they were dealing with injuries. In this case, James’s foot injury he suffered against Dallas should qualify.
Everyone knows the Lakers’ playoff chances hinge on James’s health, so giving him at least a game off to rest makes too much sense.
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