Sunday night was a historic one for Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James as he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players in NBA history to score 38,000 points in their career. But LeBron has always said he doesn’t care to set milestones in losing efforts, and unfortunately that was the case on Sunday as the Lakers came up just short against the Philadelphia 76ers.
For the second consecutive game, the Lakers had a chance to come out with a victory but failed to do so. In this instance, the Lakers got a stop, but James never touched the ball on the Lakers’ final possession and Russell Westbrook was unable to get a good shot up over 76ers star Joel Embiid.
Afterward, an obviously frustrated James didn’t have much to say about the Lakers coming up short. “We got a stop and gave ourselves and chance to win the game and we didn’t,” the Lakers star said after the contest.
LeBron was again outstanding on the night, finishing with 35 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. But he made it clear that the Lakers coming so close, but still falling short is getting to him.
“Just frustrating getting in those positions and not being able to come out with the victory.”
James also later took to social media to express frustration with the officiating down the stretch, which has become a theme in recent weeks:
And all year they keep telling me to my face on the court, “I didn’t see it” or “It wasn’t a foul”. It’s not making sense to me seriously! Frustrating as hell man! Anyways keep going Squad! 💜💛👑 https://t.co/tsrlXtJjuO
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 16, 2023
When asked about whether he felt a timeout should have been called on that last possession, LeBron basically repeated his first answer about the Lakers giving themselves a chance to win, but failing to execute. But James is looking forward to being able to erase this loss immediately as the Lakers host the Houston Rockets.
“The best thing about this league is there’s an opportunity to redeem yourselves very fast,” LeBron added. “Regardless of all the bullshit, you still got an opportunity to be better the next day. We got another one tomorrow and we got to be ready to play against the young, fast, energetic Houston Rockets team.”
Despite this loss, the Lakers remain right in the thick of a crowded Western Conference playoff race with the gap between the fifth seed and being completely out of the playoffs just a couple games. The Lakers have done well to get themselves in the hunt after their start to the season and even a frustrated LeBron sees the progress this team has made.
“We’re better than the start of the season,” he concluded, still sounding disappointed.
Joel Embiid, NBA L2M disagree that Russell Westbrook was fouled on Lakers last possession
Unfortunately, James never saw the ball on the final possession of the Lakers’ loss to Philadelphia, but
Westbrook firmly believes that he was fouled by Embiid on the final drive to the basket.
“I was trying to attack and get to the basket,” Westbrook said after the contest. “It’s unfortunate, but he was grabbing my wrist, so I couldn’t get the ball up, but it’s all good.”
Embiid, however, obviously disagrees. “I don’t think I fouled him,” the 76ers big man said. “Physical play on both sides. You could have called a foul on the other end, too, on the bump. So, it goes both ways.”
The NBA officials sided with Embiid in this instance as the last two minute report explained that they believed only marginal contact occurred and thus Westbrook was not fouled on the shot.
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