LOS ANGELES — LeBron James was back for the Lakers. Was he ever.

He scored 39 points as an electrifying force in the Lakers’ 124-116 overtime victory Wednesday over the Indiana Pacers.

What You Need To Know

  • The Lakers defeated the Pacers, 124-116, in overtime Wednesday night

  • LeBron James had 39 points, six assists and five rebounds

  • James made five three-pointers on the night and scored 17 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime

  • Up next: The Lakers come back home to face the Kings on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

James returned from a one-game suspension and was simply unstoppable in the most important part of the game.

First, he made a 27-foot three-pointer with 2:51 left in overtime. Then, he added one from 30 feet after sizing up Domantas Sabonis with a series of dribbles well above the arc. Finally, he added a 19-foot fadeaway from the left side for a six-point lead with 41.2 seconds left in overtime.

“I understand that closing time is winning time,” James told Spectrum SportsNet, and who could argue with him?

It’s safe to say James wasn’t thrilled when the NBA levied a one-game suspension after he elbowed a Detroit player in the face last Sunday. It cost James a game in one of his favorite arenas, New York’s Madison Square Garden.

He took out his frustrations on Indiana with a “performance for the ages,” Lakers Coach Frank Vogel said.

“He put on one hell of a show,” Vogel added. “Obviously, he gets the game ball.”

James made five three-pointers on the night and scored 17 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He also played out of position late in the game because, in a now-familiar line, the Lakers played short-handed again.

Anthony Davis didn’t suit up Wednesday when a fever flared up and kept him in bed at the team hotel because of non-COVID flu-like symptoms. In a corresponding move, the Lakers moved James to center down the stretch in Indianapolis. It worked.

While on defense, James tried to help teammates by calling out Indiana’s plays before they unfolded.

“He knows every play for every team,” Lakers guard Malik Monk said. “He knows what’s coming,”

The Lakers reserves couldn’t be ignored. Monk scored 17 points and Wayne Ellington added 14. They made seven three-pointers between the two of them as the Lakers finished 2-3 on their road trip.

Monk, however, credited James.

“It’s ‘Bron. He’s gonna take control of everything and we just feed off of him,” he said.

The Lakers (10-10) improved to 4-0 in overtime. They’ve also beat San Antonio, Charlotte and Miami in games that extended past the fourth quarter.

The Lakers had a chance to win in regulation but Chris Duarte made an off-balance three-pointer with 5.7 seconds to tie the score at 112-112. The game went into overtime when James pulled up and missed a 32-foot three-point shot.

The Lakers return home for games against Sacramento and Detroit.

“We can sense of the things that we can do,” James said. “Getting healthy is the most important thing in our league. For us, we still haven’t had a full group yet.”


Facebook Twitter