LeBron James’ first triple-double of the season lifts the Lakers at MSG

LeBron James’ first triple-double of the season lifts the Lakers at MSG

NEW YORK — As the fanfare of lebron jamesThe pursuit of the NBA’s all-time scoring record reached a fever pitch Tuesday, playing in the world’s most famous stadium in the city where longtime No. 1 scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbarwas born — James left his mark with his passing.

James made 11 assists in the Los Angeles Lakers129-123 extension win over the New York Knicksbringing his career total to 10,338 and passing Mark Jackson (10,334) and Steve Nash (10,335) to move into No. 4 on the all-time assists list.

“It’s amazing because that’s what I like to do and get my guys involved,” said James, who had 28 points and 10 rebounds for his first triple-double of the season, becoming the first player the history of the league to record a triple. double in his 20th season or beyond. “Anytime you link to some of the greats — Mark Jackson played here, he was drafted here by the Knicks, so that’s a great thing. And obviously we know when Nash was. [in the league], I played against him for many, many years. His ability to pass the ball was very strange.”

And James’ ability to stay at such a high level remained otherworldly, as the 38-year-old star is now 89 points away from surpassing Abdul-Jabbar’s record that has stood for nearly 39 years.

“He’s just a kid who’s grown up before our eyes, the last 20 years at this level, he’s done nothing but play the right way and play the game in front of him,” Lakers coach Darvin said Ham, on James’ points and assists. . “No matter how much he’s been criticized for a while for not making those last shots and not making the passes, he’s just making the right plays. You saw that again tonight.”

LA snapped a four-game losing streak in overtime this season, holding off a late 6-0 Knicks run in the fourth quarter that tied the game against James and Anthony Davis combined to suffocate Julius Randle and not allowing him to take a shot at the end of regulation to force OT.

“Defensively, we’re a different team when he’s in there and we know he takes care of the paint,” Ham said of Davis, who had 27 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals in just his third game after missing 20 consecutive games with a right foot injury.

It was a redemptive night for the Lakers considering the way their current five-game road trip began with an overtime loss in Boston.

Not only did they close out Tuesday’s game with better balance in the extra session, but Russell Westbrookwho was benched throughout the fourth quarter against the Celtics, was instrumental.

Westbrook had three assists and made his only shot in OT, finishing with 17 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

“I will. I mean, it’s just a matter of time before I do. … I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be in this league at least for a while. A few more years.”

LeBron James approaching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record

“You get a chance to learn from your mistakes, at least me personally,” Westbrook said. “You get a chance to watch film and learn how you can execute down the stretch by taking good shots, make or break. And making stops, which was big for us tonight.”

The Lakers will finish the trip with games in Indiana on Thursday and New Orleans on Saturday. If James plays both and maintains his 30.2 ppg average, he will pass Abdul-Jabbar at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder next tuesday The Lakers have another game in LA next Thursday against Milwaukee on Feb. 9, trade deadline day, before heading back on the road for a two-game road trip.

“The team is very excited,” Davis said. “It’s probably going to be a surreal moment for all of us, but probably more so for him…Obviously, whatever the game is, we want to be able to win the game.”

James was asked if the idea of ​​the achievement, a hallowed record not only in basketball but in all professional sports, was “heavier” because it was so close.

“It’s not getting heavier,” he said. “I will. I mean, it’s just a matter of time when I will. It’s not heavy. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be in this league for at least a few more years.

“I’ll do it. It’s not heavy at all.”

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