The NBA season is a marathon.
It's an 82-game season and with players resting throughout the year and only a handful of teams realistically having a shot at the title, it's easy to become indifferent to the minutiae of it all — though not here at Silver Screen and Roll where we love this stuff.
You often hear phrases like "just one of 82" or "just another game.” Those cliches have a subcontext that, at the end of the day, these games all matter equally. Some games, however, even the coolest NBA stars acknowledge holding some weight to it. For LeBron James, the Lakers vs. Clippers matchup meets that qualification.
"I think it's always more than just another game anytime you're playing your cross-hallway rival,” James said after the matchup. “For me, it's always great to compete against the best and (Paul George) and Kawhi and (Russell Westbrook) are three of the best this league has ever seen. To be able to be on the floor against them and compete – I'm wearing the purple and gold and they're wearing their colors and competing – it's definitely a blessing. We don't take those moments for granted. It was definitely fun."
Don’t take LeBron James for granted. pic.twitter.com/I4PGqtSGxM— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) November 2, 2023
It was likely even more fun for James given that he dominated, leading the team with 35 points. LeBron also had the biggest highlight of the night, converting on an alley-oop from Austin Reaves to seal the game, meaning the Lakers beat a Ty Lou-coached Clippers team for the first time.
Despite James being the biggest star in the game, he was certain to give flowers to his supporting cast and acknowledge them giving the appropriate energy to come back and beat the Clippers.
"Myself and AD and the rest of the guys, we were just trying to go at them as well,” LeBron said. “D'Lo was right there with us, (Reaves) was right there, (Christian Wood), it was a big time game for both teams. Win, lose or draw, it was something where I feel both teams felt they got better and the fans got a great show."
James is right. You could feel the energy permeating from the stadium and it was clear this was a bit more than "just another game." Crypto.com Arena was sold out and the notoriously tardy Lakers crowd was seated minutes before the opening tip. The game was on primetime on ESPN and every national publication and news site was present to cover it.
Regardless of where your allegiance lies, it's clear Lakers vs. Clippers is a marquee matchup and the Lakers, for a change, came out on top.
The next matchup between these two titans of Los Angeles will happen on January 7, and you can be certain the energy will be just as high as it was Wednesday night.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.