LeBron James goes supernova as Lakers stun Clippers with 21-point comeback



At this point in the season, given the thin 9-10 play-in line on which they’re operating, every win is a big one for the Los Angeles Lakers. But the 21-point rally they just pulled off against the Clippers is the biggest win of their season. 

Honestly, how is LeBron James still this great? 

I know it’s getting tiresome to hear this “can you believe this guy is 39 years old?” narrative over and over. But dude, can you believe this guy is 39 years old? He just outscored the Clippers by himself in the fourth quarter with 19 of his 34 points. He scored or assisted on 11 of the Lakers’ 12 final buckets. He made five 3s in the final frame, which the Lakers entered trailing by 19, a deficit that quickly grew to 21. 

It’s the largest fourth-quarter comeback the Lakers have completed since 2003, the year that LeBron was drafted, and the largest fourth-quarter comeback of LeBron’s career. We all know LeBron is still a fantastic player, but going to this level, in this important of a game, against this great of an opponent, on national TV, this was supernova stuff. No age qualifiers necessary. 

“Just a zone,” LeBron said of his performance. “You can’t really describe it. You wish you could stay in it forever. But during it, you don’t feel anything. You just have a superpower.”

All told, LeBron accounted for 30 points via scoring and assists and was a plus-23 in the fourth quarter. No other player has met both of those marks since play-by-play data began being tracked, per StatMuse, and he is the first player since 2007 (shout out Ricky Davis) to record 19 points and five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter with at least a plus-23 point differential. 

Even for LeBron who has provided countless examples of his once-in-a-lifetime talent, this was a special showing. If he played five more years, would you be surprised? I sure wouldn’t. I guess he could get tired of the grind or want more time with his family, but from a pure basketball standpoint, we’re still talking about one of the best players in the league. 

The Lakers — who are now one game up in the loss column on the No. 10 Warriors — were dead. They couldn’t make a dent in the Clippers’ half-court defense all night, so James go it going in transition and early offense before the Clippers could get set. 

Then, as he his dissection deepened, he started hunting switches, which the Clippers strangely conceded too easily. He blew past James Harden. He pulled up for 3 on Daniel Theis. He drove on Norman Powell to open up the Rui Hachimura 3 that gave the Lakers their first lead since the first quarter. He turned a game the Lakers had no business winning on its head seemingly on a whim. There are only a handful of players who can flip that kind of switch, and James is still one of them. 

Oh by the way, LeBron is now just 40 points shy of hitting the 40,000 career-point mark. The Lakers play the Wizards on Thursday. Might want to free up your evening. 





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