The old cat from Akron can still ball, eh? LeBron James exploded for 23 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 46 points overall to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 115-108 victory over his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron made NBA history as only the fifth player 36-years old or older to score 46 or more points in a game, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Jamal Crawford.
The Lakers currently have the best record in the NBA at 14-4. They also remain perfect on the road with a 10-0 away record.
The Lakers continue to be the consensus favorite to win the 2021 NBA Championship. They’ve been the favorite since they won the 2020 championship. You can back the Lakers at +250 odds, according to the South Point Casino in Las Vegas.
Don’t Piss Off LeBron
The Lakers trailed by a bucket at the end of the third quarter. LeBron missed a shot and an unnamed executive from the Cavs rejoiced a little too boisterously for LeBron’s tastes.
“He was a little too excited about seeing me miss,” admitted LeBron. “I had another quarter, and the fourth quarter is my favorite. It’s a good thing for him I only come here once.”
Not that LeBron needed any extra motivation, but the grievance lit a fire under his ass. He personally outscored the Cavs in the fourth quarter 23-19. He shot 9-for-10 from the field and missed only one shot while putting on a clinic.
“Bron wasn’t missing,” said teammate Anthony Davis. “He was everywhere on the floor. We just got out of the way.”
When the dust settled, LeBron missed just seven shots the entire night on 19-for-26 from the floor, including seven 3-pointers. He also added eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks in 38 minutes of action.
“Pretty awesome to see that he can still turn it up like that,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “The shot-making was just ridiculous.”
LBJ Home Cooking
LeBron grew up in Akron and played two stints with the Cavs in 2003-10 and 2014-18. He helped the city of Cleveland end its championship drought in 2016. He decided to join the Lakers in free agency after the 2018 season. In his second season in Hollywood, LeBron won another championship.
Last March, the NBA shut down its season when the pandemic hit, and the Lakers never had a chance to play the Cavs in Cleveland. The Lakers had one game on this season’s schedule with LeBron’s old team, which gave LeBron a chance to return to his old home arena.
The Cavs are no longer the bottom feeders of the Eastern Conference. They were a .500 team coming into the game against the Lakers, thanks to a strong season from Collin Sexton.
While he was in town to play his former squad, LeBron grabbed a home-cooked meal by his mother. The comfort food help put him in the right mind space to unleash his best offensive output of the season.
“Home cooking,” said James. “It felt good to be back in my haven.”
LeBron got off to a sizzling start from the opening tip. He unleashed 17 points in the first quarter, including four 3-pointers. LeBron finished with seven treys on 7-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Here’s a good video analysis by BBall Breakdown on LeBron’s 46-point game, including his 3-point shooting.
LeBron: ‘I’m 36!’
Two weeks ago, a popular YouTuber named Mark Phillips posted a video poking fun at the latest drama in the NBA. In Phillips’ video, he plays LeBron James reacting to the news about the Houston Rockets trading James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.
Phillips’ version of LeBron was a bit surly with his Lakers’ teammates.
“I’m 36. I’m tired I just beat the Warriors!” screamed LeBron.
Phillips’ LBJ called up Kyrie Irving to discuss the trade.
“You scared of me or something? Why’d you get James? Why’d you get KD?”
How Lebron was when he found out James Harden went to the Nets 🏀🤣💀 pic.twitter.com/BK9bb48nze
— Mark Phillips (@SupremeDreams_1) January 14, 2021
King James showed he had a sense of humor and retweeted the video with five laughing/crying emojis. Phillips couldn’t believe that King James himself liked it so much that he had to share it with his 49 million followers on Twitter.
IM 36!!!!! IM 36!!!! STOP THROWING THE BALL 😡😡😡🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣💀 https://t.co/KkU32nQVKU
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 14, 2021