Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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LeBron James, inspired by Brady’s achievement, but does not define how old he will continue to play

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LOS ANGELES – For the second game in a row, the Los Angeles Lakers had to reach the overtime stage to resolve the game and take the 119-112 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night at Staples Center. The Angelenos came from behind to get ahead in the final stretch of the game, but the Thunder managed to force overtime.

LeBron James, 36, played 46 minutes Saturday in double overtime against the Detroit Pistons and 43 minutes tonight against OKC.

“(Thunder) showed great energy, it’s a group of young players, they don’t quit, they have great coaches, we need extra time to close the game. We had a chance to win it in the last seconds, but they closed the gap. I’m fine with extra time, compared to two like Saturday, my heart doesn’t feel as bad as the other day, ”said a smiling LeBron James.

LeBron James had a triple-double night with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists. This figure, meant the ninth triple-double for him after the age of 35, a new mark in NBA history, surpassing the 8 of Jason Kidd at that age.

“What can I tell you, it’s LeBron James, he’s 36 years old and he’s just special. The way he takes care of himself, of his body, of us. He’s been doing it for 18 years and he’s not going to stop, ”shared teammate Dennis Schroder, who had a great night of 19 points and key plays on defense.

After watching Tom Brady win his seventh NFL Super Bowl at age 43 on Sunday, LeBron James is inspired.

“What he has done in his career is incredible and also the way he has done it, to win again, it is inspiring for someone like me. They are different sports and different positions, I don’t know how long I can play, but I don’t have a specific limit, the game will let me know when it’s time (to retire), ”shared LeBron, who has won four NBA championships.

Oklahoma came out to the Staples Center with intensity and dominated the first three sets of the game. At halftime, the visitors were up by four units, 60-56.

Still in the fourth quarter, with 10:26 to play, the Lakers were down by 11 points. The Angelenos continued to fight in search of the comeback and with 1:13 on the clock, they turned the scoreboard.

In the final two seconds, with the Lakers leading by three, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope fouled Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on his 3-point attempt, sending him down the line for three free throws. Gilgeous made his three baskets, despite attempts to distract the Lakers bench as there are no fans, and the game was tied at 110 points per side. LeBron failed to complete the last-second triple-winner attempt against the buzzer and the game went into overtime. There, Lakers dominated; they held the Thunder 9-2 in those five minutes, marking their fifth straight win.

It is the sixth time this season that the reigning NBA champions have rallied double-digit deficits for victory.

“You go out and compete, every game is a challenge. We have no problem having these closed games that are decided at the end, that go into overtime, it doesn’t bother me, on the contrary, I like it when the teams put us to the test. We are a team with champion DNA, it is good to be tested, “said LeBron James.

Lakers had the losses of Anthony Davis, due to a right Achilles tendinitis, and Alex Caruso for inflammation in the fingers. Markieff Morris started in the starting five in Davis’ absence, while Wesley Matthews gave a great performance coming off the bench.

“It was an exceptional performance from Wes tonight, he showed great energy on both sides of the ball, but particularly on defense. With (Anthony) Davis and Alex (Caruso) out, we needed his intensity on the defensive end, he had important triples also on a night where we had a hard time shooting in general, ”said coach Frank Vogel.

Both Morris and Matthews had been euthanized in the rotation in past games. Due to the talent and depth on the roster, coach Frank Vogel has had to make tough decisions. Matthews had been out of action since Jan. 28, returned to the rotation and chipped in 16 points off the bench, while also hitting crucial 3s. He finished 4 of 5 from the perimeter and his overall performance earned him the match ball from the group.

“It’s a matter of time, this is nothing new, I’ve had to deal with adversity my entire career. But it’s my job to be professional and always ready. I have had the support and help of my friends, teammates, coaches, family, so I must be ready when they speak to me, play and deliver results, ”shared Wes.

The Lakers and Oklahoma will meet again Wednesday at Staples Center.

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