Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Lakers snap losing streak


LOS ANGELES (AFP) — LeBron James produced a 56-point masterpiec­e as the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their four-game losing streak with a thrilling 124-116 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. James delivered his highest single-game points tally since joining the Lakers in a pulsating battle with the Warriors, who themselves are in a mini-slump that now runs to four straight defeats. A see-saw game at the Lakers’ newly renamed Crypto.com Arena saw the lead change hands nine times, with the Lakers jumping out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter before the Warriors hit back with a 42-point second quarter display. That left the Warriors in the driving seat and leading by 14 before James and the Lakers gradually worked their way back into the contest with a late burst of scoring in the fourth quarter. James, who finished with 56 points and 10 rebounds, said afterwards that “desperatio­n” had inspired the Lakers. “Just desperatio­n,” he said. “We needed this win for sure. It means a lot.” “Obviously they’re the second best team in the West. They’ve been struggling a little bit of late, but we’ve been struggling all year pretty much.”

Just desperatio­n. We needed this win for sure. It means a lot.

“For us to get a win like this in front of our home fans — they deserve it. We haven’t played like much of anything of late so it’s good to get a win like that in front of them.”

James hopes the win can act as a catalyst for the Lakers’ troubled season. The 2020 National Basketball Associatio­n champion remains out of the automatic playoff places and are ninth in the Western Conference with a 28-35 record.

“We’ve gotta see where we can take it from here,” James said. “We’ve got a two-game road trip coming up so let’s see what we can do.”

Lakers coach Frank Vogel meanwhile saluted James’ leadership.

“He leads us with his consistent demeanor, trying to get better every day,” Vogel said. “What he did tonight was spectacula­r.”

James’ scoring was backed with 20 points from Russell Westbrook while veteran Carmelo Anthony added 14 off the bench.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors scorers with 30 points while Jordan Poole added 23. Elsewhere Saturday, Jimmy Butler scored 21 points as the Miami Heat shut down Joel Embiid to end the Philadelph­ia 76ers’ five-game winning streak with a 99-82 victory.

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