LeBron James continues to age like fine wine.
James, just put up a legendary stat line, tying his second-best scoring display, recording 56 points on 19 for 31 shooting overall, 6 for 11 from 3-point range, and ten rebounds in just 38 minutes, for his sixth career 50-point double-double. In this game against the Warriors, the 56 points were his highest yet as a Laker.
He also broke another record, which he does nearly every night, becoming the 4th-oldest player in NBA history to score at least 50 points in a regular-season game. According to the LA Times, only Jordan, Bryant and Crawford scored 50 after turning 37.
“I felt pretty good with my game tonight, every part of the floor, and I was able to make a couple plays to help us win,” said James.
“Our guys were following me off the floor tonight, going into the locker room, asked me, ‘How does it feel to score 56?’ I said, ‘Right now, I don’t give a damn about the 56: I’m just happy we got a win.’ That’s just literally the first thing that came to my mind.”
James, even at 37, with the world watching his every move, waiting for him to fail, never ceases to amaze, and his teammates are absolutely grateful. Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony said, “He just put us on his back tonight. He was phenomenal – what more can you say?”
“He’s locked in and playing at a level that not a lot of people don’t really stand to play at,” Lakers guard Russell Westbrook said. “To see it first hand is something that I can learn as I continue to get older in this league and continue to find ways to be effective. He’s one of the best of all time. He shows exactly why and continues to prove other people wrong.”
Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel said, “An incredible performance by the best to ever do it, in my opinion.” Vogel added, “It’s just remarkable, his will.
“The biggest thing is what he’s done to transition his game to this stage of his career in terms of his shooting, I mean, it’s just an example for every player to put the work into his craft; it’s just remarkable to be doing it at this stage of his career.”
At 28-35, the Lakers are tussling with New Orleans, Portland, and San Antonio for ninth and 10th place in the Western Conference standings, the final two spots in the play-in tournament. If James can continue this tear, with help of course, (Westbrook wink, wink), the Lakers could use this win as momentum to finish the rest of the season.
By Jeremiah Griffith, Junior, Noble Academy