LOS ANGELES - It was a Wednesday night in Los Angeles where the Hollywood stars gathered to watch LeBron James and the Lakers host the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center.
It was a nationally televised game.
It was a night that history could be made.
Those were all the ingredients LeBron needed to score the most points by a Laker since Kobe Bryant had scored 60 in his final game and for James to move up on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list.
And, the Blazers gave credit where credit was due after dropping Wednesday night’s game to the Lakers, 126-117.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts felt his team played a good enough game offensively, but they weren’t able to get over the hump after the Lakers outscored Portland, 33-22 in the second quarter. Coach Stotts was also quick to talk about King James’ overall game.
“LeBron- it was a dominant performance. Nineteen shots for 44 points, you don’t see that very often, almost a triple-double,” Stotts said.
James tied Chamberlain on an and-1 runner with 3:55 remaining in the fourth quarter and passed him on the next free throw. He now has 31,425 points for his career.
LeBron led the Lakers with 44 points after making 13 of his 19 attempts from the floor. He was just one assist shy from his 75th triple-double of his career, finishing with nine assists and 10 rebounds.
Before the game tipped-off, James walked over to the far sideline to chat with Super Model Cindy Crawford and the Terminator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s a scene that you will only see in Los Angeles.
The Trail Blazers watched several scenes in which LeBron scored, but they also witnessed him finding his teammates. And we can’t forget that Wednesday’s contest was the third meeting between these two teams and we are less than a month into the season, which means it was third matchup on LeBron for Al-Farouq Aminu.
“When you’re trying to lock in on LeBron, he’s a great passer, it makes it difficult,” Aminu said.
Portland now goes to 10-4 on the season. In the loss, Damian Lillard scored 31 points and dished out 11 assists, while CJ McCollum finished with 23 points.
The Lakers All-Star small forward was not only dominating in the paint, but he also made 5-of-6 from three-point range and when King James his hitting threes like that it’s pretty much game over.
“It’s hard. Chief did a great job forcing him into some tough spots and then he started getting to the free throw line. Refs started calling Flagrants and stuff like that and that allowed him to shoot uncontested free throws,” McCollum said.
“When he’s making his threes and then putting his head down it’s hard,” Stotts said.
And as the kids say these days, ‘real recognize real,' and that’s exactly what Jusuf Nurkic did postgame.
“LeBron carried them through the second quarter, the third quarter. When he’s making shots, outside shots, and threes it’s tough to handle,” Nurkic said.
Another celebrity in attendance was Adam Sandler and his 10-year-old daughter, Sunny. They both gave LeBon a big ovation when history was made with LeBron passing Chamberlin on the all-time scoring list.
For one of the younger Laker players, Lonzo Ball, King James’ performance was one that he had seen many times when he was Sunny Sandler’s age.
“I grew up watching him do that, so it was cool to be on the floor with him, just being out there. I didn’t know he had the numbers he had tonight, but obviously, he had a great game and the stats showed it in the end,” Ball said postgame.
For many young players across the league this quote from Lonzo Ball rings true, they grew up watching LeBron dominate.
And now even after 15 years in the league he continues to show the youngsters and now the celebrities how King James can still easily take over a game.