LeBron James declined to handle Kevin Durant’s feedback after inspiring the Los Angeles Lakers to a 121-113 win in opposition to the San Antonio Spurs on dwelling court docket.
The four-time MVP scored 20 factors within the fourth quarter, together with 9 consecutive factors that hauled the Lakers again from an eight-point deficit within the closing interval. LeBron completed with 42 factors in 40 minutes, the third time he has scored 40 or extra factors since becoming a member of the Lakers in July.
Learn extra: Kevin Durant: Lakers, LeBron James could have problem discovering second choice
The 33-year-old shot 15-of-24 from the sphere, together with 3-of-7 from past the arc, and added six assists and 5 rebounds.
LeBron turned up the warmth on the Spurs within the closing interval, making seven of his eight photographs as he and Josh Hart hit consecutive clutch three-pointers down the stretch. Earlier within the fourth quarter, the quantity 23 had hit an unbelievable three-pointer from deep, which was arguably the spotlight of a stellar efficiency.
He was well supported by the Lakers’ young core, as Kyle Kuzma finished with 22 points and nine rebounds and Lonzo Ball added 14 points and nine assists.
The win was the Lakers’ fourth in a row and improved their record to 15-9, which currently puts them in fifth place in the Western Conference rankings, two points behind the conference leaders Denver Nuggets.
After a difficult start to the season, the Lakers appear to be slowly but surely hitting their strides, largely thanks to LeBron’s ever-growing influence on the workforce.
The atmosphere on the Staples Heart appears to be removed from the “poisonous” situation Kevin Durant alluded to on Wednesday, when he warned the Lakers will wrestle to recruit a star to play alongside the three-time NBA champion.
“He has so many fanboys within the media,” Durant stated in an interview with Ric Bucher. “Even the beat writers simply fawn over him. I get why anybody wouldn’t need to be in that atmosphere as a result of it’s poisonous.”
Talking after the win over the Spurs, LeBron was keen to reduce the problem, suggesting he would first take a look at the context of what was requested of Durant earlier than making any feedback.
“I consider that is in all probability not the entire quote so I’m not going to touch upon that,” he was quoted as saying by USA Right this moment.
“I’ll like to see the entire transcript of what was requested of him, the context of what was requested, why it was requested, and the entire thing. I’m not going to touch upon it. I don’t know the entire thing—that might be silly on my half. I’m a veteran.”
Durant specified the comment in regards to the media was supposed as a criticism of the press, moderately than LeBron however his phrases reverberated across the NBA.
The defending NBA Finals MVP signed a brand new two-year cope with the Warriors in the summertime however has a participant choice for the 2019-20 season, which he’s anticipated to say no in favor of testing free company.
If his phrases are something to go by, Los Angeles doesn’t characteristic prominently within the listing of groups he want to play with. It stays to be seen, nevertheless, whether or not different superstars who may develop into free brokers on the finish of the season like Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson share Durant’s view.