The last two games of Lakers They were crushing.
They were left in despair both times. Matches were close The Lakers could not win. The Lakers still feel the sting of the two defeats.
But the beauty of the NBA is that there is another day and another game, and that is what the Lakers had to look forward to Monday night when they took on the Houston Rockets at the Crypto.com Arena.
this time, LeBron James He refused to let the Lakers lose a game that was still too close for comfort against the energetic and talented young Rockets, both teams playing their second straight games.
It took James to produce a season-high 48 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Lakers to come off a 140-132 win above the missiles.
James scored 40 or more points for the third time this season, the 72nd time of his illustrious 20-year career during the regular season, and the 100th time in his career including the playoffs.
“I could have easily taken off tonight, but I don’t feel like the momentum of our football club can use me to get me through tonight,” said James, who was suffering from a sore ankle. “I don’t feel like I wanted to sit through this loss with Philly last night. I kind of wanted to get that out of my taste buds and see if we win a ball game tonight.”
James scored 20 points in the fourth, including four free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the game.
He was 16-for-26 from the field, five-for-10 from three-point range and 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
“I think it’s historical, man, on so many different levels,” Lakers coach Darvin Hamm He said of James’ play. “For him to be at this point in his career and still be able to produce at the level that he’s producing, I think we can all really watch him, be a part of it. … and show his competitive spirit, his never-satisfied mentality.”
And the Rockets kept coming back behind the play of Alperin Sengun, who scored 33 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
But with the Lakers turning the ball over only twice, a franchise low, they were able to snap a three-game losing streak.
“There are no easy nights in this league,” Hamm said. “We’re glad we were able to last for 48 minutes.”
James scored 28 points by the time he took his first break of the third quarter with 3 minutes and 50 seconds left in the quarter, and the Lakers had a 95-81 lead which was cut to 102-98 at the end of the quarter, with James on the bench to watch.
The Lakers dropped a double-overtime game against the Dallas Mavericks last Thursday night, a game Los Angeles thought some last-second calls should have run their way. The Lakers followed that up with a last-second, one-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night, another game Los Angeles didn’t like on the calls.
Despite it all, Hamm didn’t want his team to feel sorry for themselves.
He didn’t want the Lakers to look back, he wanted to step up for the next challenge.
“Just with that hammer, man, keep chopping the rock. Like I said, it can be disappointing, but you’ve got to get through that. You’ve got one more game to play tonight. That’s the great thing about this league,” Hamm said before the game. You won’t feel sorry for yourself for long. And you also get a chance to hit the restart button and try to get it right. Just a lot of great things that have happened against some really outstanding talent in the last couple of games. But, again, just making plays, playing the right way, keeping This competitive advantage, stay together.
“I think we are well positioned in terms of all of that. We just have to figure out how to finish games in this league.”
The Lakers had some happy moments to help them forget the two tough losses.
Kendrick Noone pitched first, throwing a one-handed dunk over Houston’s Jalen Green in the first quarter to bring the crowd to its feet.
Then there were back-to-back stunts.
James grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast to coast, managing to block the ball while being fouled by Sengun. James pauses to take pictures for a few seconds, shouting to the cheering crowd, “I’m a bad boy…boy!”
On the next play James grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast to coast for a dunk, his head bobbing afterwards and more unprintable words coming out of his mouth.
This story originally appeared Los Angeles Times.