Thanks to a massive offensive output from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and an impressive fourth quarter showing, the Los Angeles Lakers have grabbed a 2-1 series lead in their Western Conference semifinals series.
The Lakers, behind a combined 62 points from Davis and James, beat the Houston Rockets 112-102 in Game 3 at Walt Disney World on Tuesday night.
The win marked James’ 162nd career playoff win, the most in NBA history.
“It says that I’ve played with a lot of great teams,” James said of the historic win on TNT. “It says that I’ve played with a lot of great teammates and some great coaches. Either in Cleveland, in Miami and now here in Los Angeles, you don’t get those wins without your teammates and the coaching staff that prepares and do all the preparation that’s behind the scenes ... It doesn’t happen without the supporting cast. It’s why I'm able to sit here with this achievement.”
“It says that I’ve played with a lot of great teams. It says that I’ve played with a lot of great teammates and some great coaches.”— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 9, 2020
LeBron on becoming the NBA’s all-time leader in playoff wins pic.twitter.com/zIp9XnBAkx
Lakers’ 4th quarter rally
Both teams stuck right with each other through the first three quarters of the night, though James and Rockets star James Harden found themselves in an offensive dual in the first half. James dropped 29 points in the first half while shooting an impressive 10-of-14 from the field, while Harden added 21 of his own.
It wasn’t until a big 17-5 run to start the fourth quarter that allowed the Lakers to finally pull ahead, though it wasn’t done through Los Angeles’ usual suspects.
Rajon Rondo hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Lakers, and then stole the ball and finished a layup for a quick eight-point scoring outburst. He then found Alex Caruso on the wing, who drilled a shot from behind the arc to put the Lakers up by 10. Davis then hit a mid-range jumper to give them their largest lead of the game.
By then, Houston was too far out of it to make a viable push. The Lakers cruised to the 10-point win, their second-straight after dropping the opening game of the series.
James led the Lakers with 36 points and seven rebounds while shooting 4-of-9 from behind the arc. Davis finished with 26 points and 15 rebounds, and Rondo added 21 points and missed just two field goals off the bench. The Lakers bench outscored the Houston bench 42-16.
“Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said, via The Washington Post’s Ben Goliver. “That’s true for this season, it’s why he should be MVP, and honestly it’s probably true in the history of the game. Nobody’s impacted winning more than LeBron James. To see he has the actual numerical statistic is just indicative of that.”
Harden finished with 33 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Rockets. Russell Westbrook added 30 points and eight rebounds, shooting 13-of-24 from the field. Houston put up just 38 points in the second half, compared to a 64-point outing in the first half.
Covington, Davis have scary collision
Robert Covington went down with a scary injury midway through the fourth quarter as he cut through the lane.
As Davis was going up for a rebound, Covington’s head went right into Davis’ elbow as he was cutting through the opposite way. The pair both went down clearly in pain — Davis took a shot to the hip — as the play went down to the other end.
Robert Covington is headed to the locker room with an apparent head injury pic.twitter.com/EWinOZBzeY— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 9, 2020
While Davis was helped up and appeared to shake it off, Covington remained on the floor for several minutes holding his face. He was finally helped up and went off the floor right into the locker room holding a bloody towel to his face.
He finished the night with 10 points and five rebounds, having shot 4-of-7 from the field.
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