Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
LeBron James’ run of individual brilliance continued Monday as the Los Angeles Lakers earned their third win in four games, beating the Charlotte Hornets 121-115 at Spectrum Center.
The final score obscured how much Los Angeles was in control. It led by as many as 24 points before a fourth-quarter flurry by the Hornets provided late drama. Charlotte trimmed the deficit to as little as four points but couldn’t claw all the way back.
If the Lakers had thrown this one away, it would’ve marked another example of their failure to maximize James’ continued excellence. The 18-time All-Star had 43 points on 16-of-26 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists.
James and Co. were toying with Charlotte midway through the third quarter when he and Dennis Schröder connected for an alley-oop reverse dunk to make it a 22-point game.
OH MY GOODNESS LEBRON 🤯
HE’S GOT A 30 PIECE IN CHARLOTTE
LeBron doing this pic.twitter.com/qycmyMjHXD
Legendary stars make the incredible look routine so often their skills can be taken for granted at times. Even though he’s into his 20th season, that still isn’t happening with LeBron.
Playing at an elite level at 38 certainly has something to do with that. Social media was once again buzzing during his performance.
James Plowright @British_Buzz
Amazing how LeBron has changed his game in recent years. Used to beat everyone with power and athleticism, now his offensive game is built around avoiding contact through fade aways and step throughs.
Kyle Goon @kylegoon
So many nights during this stretch, it has felt like LeBron has been wearing himself down. Tonight he has 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 19 minutes, and it feels like he’s not exerting himself too much.
Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
LeBron tonight has basically been “what if 35-year-old Dirk magically transformed into 25-year-old Shawn Marion in transition?”
Rob Perez @WorldWideWob
MJ learned his lesson many Heatles games ago not to be sitting courtside for LeBron in Charlotte. too much meme potential.
Every phenomenal LeBron performance makes me hate the Lakers front office just a little bit more.
John Hollinger @johnhollinger
So awesome to see LeBron blowing up like this. Appreciate him while he can still do this.
Robin Lundberg @robinlundberg
LeBron James is carrying a team with no other notable player at 38-years-old in his 20th season.
Thomas Bryant supplemented James with 18 points and 15 boards, while Schröder and Austin Reaves chipped in 15 points apiece. Russell Westbrook was limited to 11 minutes because of left foot soreness and finished with two points, four rebounds and two assists.
The Lakers will begin a two-game homestand Wednesday against the Miami Heat. It might take another Herculean effort by James to make it four wins in five.
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