LeBron James and Lakers rally late, hold on to defeat Pacers
The intensity was there, Patrick Beverley was pushing the ball, Anthony Davis was flying on the edge, LeBron James was pushing the ball across the court. The Lakers looked focused and powerful.
After all, they looked dangerous.
You were late. But they arrived anyway.
The Lakers stopped Buddy Hield on a baseline trap in the closing seconds on Thursday, his shot leaking when Anthony Davis snapped the rebound to give the team a 112-111 win.
The Lakers only led with a three from LeBron James in the fourth quarter.
When will LeBron James become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer?
A look at LeBron James’ pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time record.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s points: 38,387
LeBron James Points: 38,325
Points from record: 63 points
Expected games to record: 3
Estimated recording date: February 7 against thunder
Davis, who was not selected as a reserve for the All-Star Game, finished with 31 points and 14 rebounds, including a great late-game defense. James had 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Three other Lakers were in double figures.
Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton returned to the court for the first time since Jan. 11 and scored 26 points for the Pacers, but he was quiet on the stretch as Beverley chased him.
A week after the NBA closed, the game against the Pacers was a reminder of a version of this year’s Lakers roster that never existed.
Before the season began, the Lakers and Pacers were in serious talks about a potential trade for Russell Westbrook, which would have sent the former MVP and first-round picks to Indiana for center Myles Turner and guard hield.
Four months later, the market for Westbrook is largely unchanged, according to league sources from opposing teams. The sense is that any Westbrook trade would likely still require the Lakers to pick a first-round pick to balance a team paying the remainder of Westbrook’s $47 million salary.
Rival teams expect that should the Lakers strike a deal, they might use Beverley and Lonnie Walker IV to build up enough salary to make a meaningful return.
The question, however, will be whether the Lakers and their limited draft assets can significantly improve on the talent already on the list.
On Thursday, Beverly’s defense was a key reason for the win.
The Lakers, trade or not, should be adding talent any day now, and coach Darvin Ham said Austin Reaves could still return on the team’s current road trip, which concludes in New Orleans on Saturday.
Reaves, who has been part of the closing lineups for the Lakers all season, has been out since Jan. 6 with a hamstring injury.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2023-02-02/los-angeles-lakers-indianapolis-pacers-nba-game-recap LeBron James and Lakers rally late, hold on to defeat Pacers