If there was one positive to be taken from the Los Angeles Lakers’ blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, it was the play of superstar LeBron James.
Once again, James looked like a player 10 years younger as he led the Lakers with 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting to go along with seven rebounds.
Unfortunately, LeBron got little help from his Lakers’ teammates and they would suffer an 18-point loss to the Suns, and making matters even worse, LeBron turned his ankle in the second half of the game.
James went up for a layup in the third quarter and would come down awkwardly on the foot of Jae Crowder, immediately falling to the ground and slapping the floor multiple times in pain and frustration.
LeBron would stay in the game, however, though he was clearly hindered by the ankle. But in pure LeBron James fashion, the Lakers’ superstar insists that he won’t miss any time because of the injury.
“I stepped on Jae Crowder’s foot. I’ll be ready for the next game.”
Losing LeBron for any amount of time is simply something the Lakers can not afford right now. With multiple players in the health and safety protocols and Anthony Davis out for a month due to injury, the pressure on James to carry the Lakers is at its highest, and he has been delivering.
James has literally played all five positions this season, doing any and everything possible to help the Lakers every night. Lately, that has required him to play more center than he ever has in the past. But again, James was not concerned with the extra toll playing that position puts on his body.
“I only played 34 minutes. Obviously, defensive things change when playing at the five. Battling versus a lot of other bigs, but it’s fine. It doesn’t make no difference to me. When I’m on the floor, I’ve got to make plays offensively and defensively.”
Things have obviously not gone the way the Lakers hoped so far this season, but having James on the roster always gives them hope of potentially turning things around. LeBron’s versatility, focus and determination to carry the Lakers through this rough stretch, injuries and all, is what the greats are made of. It will take more than an ankle sprain to keep LeBron down right now.
James explains difference between Lakers and Suns
While the Lakers were blown out by the Suns on Tuesday, James actually felt there were points in the game where the Lakers played well and explained the difference between the two teas.
“They’re at full strength and we’re not.
“It’s hard to see where we are as a team. There’s points in the game where I thought we played some good basketball and there’s points where we didn’t.”
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