LeBron James has to carry these Lakers — when he is on the court the Lakers have a +6.7 net rating, when he sits it’s -17.9.
He did it again Sunday night, LeBron holding off Father Time — 37 points on 14-of-19 shooting, plus hitting the game-winning free throws to lift the Lakers past the surprising Rockets 105-104 at home.
With :04 seconds left and the game tied 104-104, LeBron drew a foul on the Rockets’ Tari Eason, got to the free throw line and drained the game-winner.
The Lakers are a solid 6-4 in November and they can thank LeBron, who is having a very efficient month: 28.3 points per game with a 65.5 true shooting percentage, plus eight rebounds and 6.4 assists a night in nine games during the month. He is averaging 34.5 minutes a night.
After the game, LeBron was asked about his play of late and says he’s playing against Father Time now, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“Just trying to push the limit,” he said. “See how far I can take this thing. I don’t know. I mean, it’s me vs. Father Time…
“I have been able to be on the court a lot more during off days this year because of past injuries the last couple years with my foot or whatever the case may be,” James told ESPN. “So to be able to hone in on everything that I need to do instead of having to get off my foot, unless we’re playing games has allowed me to stay in rhythm. I got my bounce back, my spring back, my quick twitch back and things of that nature.”
Dillon Brooks was out there again trying to get under LeBron’s skin — he did draw a technical — but that may not be the best strategy, giving LeBron motivation. LeBron said postgame he likes how competitive Brooks is and that young guys like that “keep me going, I need that.”
The Lakers also got 27 points and 10 rebounds from Anthony Davis, and Austin Reaves had 17 points off the bench. Alperen Şengün continued his impressive start to the season scoring 23 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Rockets.