LeBron James says he ‘felt like a kid again’ after scoring a season-high 47 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as he shows no signs of slowing down on his 38th birthday… inspiring in the LA Lakers victory over the Atlanta Hawks
LeBron James defied logic again in his 20th NBA season, producing another dominant performance as the Lakers bounced back from a tough loss in Miami.
In their penultimate road game of this East Coast trip, James gave Lakers fans 47 reasons to be happy on his 38th birthday.
King dropped nearly 50 pieces on the struggling Hawks, including 10 rebounds and nine assists as Los Angeles overcame a 33-23 first quarter deficit to win 130-121, pushing them within of three NBA play-in wins — despite a 15-21 record.
The four-time NBA MVP and an 18-time All-Star had just two points in the first quarter, but responded with 16 points in the second, 13 in the third and 16 in the fourth.
James admitted postgame that the fountain of youth is still going strong, despite his disappointment with the Lakers’ performances this week.
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LeBron James admitted postgame that he feels better than he did at 18 in his debut season
‘So, there were times when I was on the floor [where] I’m like a kid again,” James said. “That’s for sure. Just being able to play, play for free, have fun with it.
‘I feel better than I did at 18, that’s for sure. At 18 years old, I know how to play, I know I belong in the NBA but I don’t know what I can be at 18.
‘But I just found out [if] I keep working, I keep staying true to the game that I can be one of the greatest players to ever play this game. I always believed that.
‘The competition – I’ve always gravitated towards the competition on the floor so I wouldn’t say 18 but I really felt like a kid again at moments out on the court tonight.’
After a difficult trip – in which the Lakers dropped two of four – James came up with a different approach, and ultimately a solution to LA’s problems.
James lit up State Farm Arena in the final three quarters – dropping 45 on the Hawks
King had a season-high 47 points, despite scoring just two in Q1 as the Lakers trailed by 10
‘I mean, I scored 30 and it didn’t work. So, we’ll try 40,’ he simply told reporters.
Atlanta took an early 15-point lead but regained a 101-100 advantage on Aaron Holiday’s 3-pointer with 10:50 left. James hit a 3 from the right wing to make it 103-101 with 10:37 on the clock. Since then, Los Angeles has never followed suit.
Many celebrities were in the crowd to watch the Lakers take on the Hawks, especially James’ wife Savannah, and homegrown rap star 2 Chainz. As a symbol of mutual respect, James presented the Atlanta rapper with his game-worn jersey and signed it before leaving the court.
Rapper 2 Chainz was iced out while attending the game with his wife Kesha