Indianapolis, IN—Lebron James was back in the lineup having missed the game against the NY Knicks on Tuesday night for his altercation with Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart on Sunday and he was ready to play.
The Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers on the road in overtime, 124-116.
Los Angeles forward Anthony Davis wasn’t in the lineup because he was still suffering from fever like symptoms.
The Pacers controlled the score for the majority of the game. Every time LA made a run, Indy would go on another run and stretch it to a double-digit lead.
But having James back makes the Lakers life a lot easier.
He scored 39 points in 43 minutes 28 seconds was a sight to see in the victory, LA return home 2-3 on a five-game trip that had many up and downs.
“Obviously I love the game of basketball and having the game taken away from you, it’s frustration and eager to get back on the floor and happy to be back in the lineup with my guys tonight and just tried to make some plays,” James said. “In the fourth quarter and overtime, it’s winning time. Understand that my teammates look at me to make plays. Had the ball a lot in my hands, so I just tried to come home for them.”
James had nine points in the fourth quarter and eight in the overtime, each basket more thrilling than the previous.
James scored 17 of his season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and also had five rebounds and six assists in the game.
“He’s one of the greatest players of all time,” Malcolm Brogdon said. “He’s been in that situation a thousand times so he’s not gonna shy (away) from the moment, and I think that’s what we experienced (Wednesday). He made some tough shots.”
He made one three-pointer in the fourth quarter and jumped around the court, his arms extended down low. He made a deep three in the overtime and broke out another celebration by pushing his hands downward while pumping his knees and
“That’s why he’s the GOAT, man,” Malik Monk, who did his part with 17 points on six-for-11 shooting, said. “Take control of the game, let everybody know he was in no rush. He’ll bring us home, man, and that’s what I seen. Like you said, I’ve been watching him my whole life. He’s like our Jordan in my generation. So, just seeing that and I’m just blessed to be able to be out there with him and just learn from him every day.”
The Lakers took its first lead late in the fourth when Frank Vogel inserted James at center and surrounded him with four sharp shooters.
Pacers Chris Duarte made an three in the final seconds to force overtime, but the Lakers wasn’t done yet.
The game was knotted at 114 with just under three minutes left in overtime when James hit a three over Domantas Sabonis to put his squad on top. Moments later he drilled another 3-pointer to extend the lead to 120-114 with 1:52 left in the extra period. The 17-time all-star sealed the deal with a turnaround jumper over Brogdon with 41.2 seconds left to make it 122-116.
Brogdon had a team-high 28 points and was one of seven Pacers players to score in double figures.