The Los Angeles Lakers sit atop of the Western Conference after overwhelming the Dallas Mavericks in overtime on Friday behind a dominant performance from LeBron James.
In 42:31 against the Mavericks, James tallied 39 points, 16 assists, 12 rebounds, 4 steals and block — good enough for his first triple-double of the regular season. Sixteen of James’ 39 points came in the final two frames, including a game-high 9 points in overtime. He’s also the one that found Danny Green in the corner for the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime.
In other words, he did exactly what the Lakers brought him into do.
After the game, Anthony Davis praised James for stepping up when it mattered the most and said he’s still one of the greatest players in the NBA — not the greatest, though. That title is reserved for someone close to him (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“He was locked in… He got us back in the game in that third quarter and in the fourth. We were just playing off of him, he did a great job of attacking and finishing and getting to the line… When he’s locked in, best player in the world… Well, next to me (laughs). He’s able to dominate the game.”
Davis didn’t lead the Lakers in points, rebounds, assists, blocks or steals on Friday, but he’s the only one on the team that has a game with 40 points and 20 rebounds this season, so he may have a point.
In all seriousness, comments like these show the type of relationship that James and Davis have and it seems to be translating on the court fairly well so far. The hope is that their relationship grows stronger as the season goes on and keeps Davis in Los Angeles beyond this season.
Being the best team in the Western Conference isn’t a bad sales pitch, either.
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