LeBron James was again the star of the show as the Los Angeles Lakers surged into the final of the inaugural NBA in-season tournament.
The 38-year-old proved he retains his ability to dominate by pouring in 30 points and adding eight assists and five rebounds as the Lakers advanced with a 133-89 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
They will now face the Indiana Pacers in Sunday’s title match-up.
Read our other sports news stories here:
LeBron reiterates call for stricter gun laws after Vegas shooting
‘Horrendous’ Jazz blown away by Doncic and Mavericks
Fields ready for QB fight in Chicago
James considered retiring in the off-season but performances like this prove he made the right call in prolonging his illustrious career.
“If you decide to retire, or whatever the case may be, you’re not a part of it anymore, so it wouldn’t be me leaving it on the table because I would have never had the table set,” James told ESPN.
“But I’m happy that I’m here; this is a pretty cool moment, and let’s see if we can capitalise on it. It’s been good. It’s been dope.
“We’ve got to finish our breakfast [win the title] on Saturday. That’s the most important thing.”
Add it to the books — LeBron is the first player in NBA history with 30+ points, 5+ assists, & 5+ rebounds in under 23 minutes pic.twitter.com/2mLGtzEqt5
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 8, 2023
The NBA in-season tournament has been a surprisingly successful initiative and Lakers coach Darvin Ham is hopeful of adding more silverware to the franchise’s cabinet at the weekend.
“We are just trying to build a rhythm and be the best team we can be and put our best foot forward on a daily basis,” Ham said.
“The tournament just happens to align with what we got going on in general.”