April 18, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

LeBron James achieves milestone and a Lakers win on birthday

His 36th birthday on Wednesday was another opportunity for LeBron James to celebrate a wondrous NBA life.

He has been in the league for 18 years, entertaining the masses and reaching milestones along the way.

Against the San Antonio Spurs, James reached a pinnacle no other player in NBA history has accomplished, scoring at least 10 points in 1,000 consecutive games.

A happy birthday indeed for James and the Lakers, who defeated the San Antonio Spurs 121-107.

The special moment arrived for James in the second quarter, when he scored his 11th point of the game on a jump hook with six minutes 15 seconds left. He finished with 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 35 minutes.

James’ double-digit scoring streak began on Jan. 6, 2007, when he was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James reached the milestone before San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected from the game with 3:56 left in the second quarter. His assistant, Becky Hammon took over, becoming the first woman to direct a team in NBA history.

Before the game, Lakers coach Frank Vogel was asked how the team celebrated James’ birthday at the team hotel on Tuesday night after arriving in San Antonio.

“We don’t have any rookies to sing him ‘Happy Birthday,’ so he didn’t get that yet,” Vogel said on a videoconference. “I gave him the option to choose a teammate or teammates to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ for him and he chose to wait until after the game. So that may or may not happen. We’ll see.”

Anthony Davis recovered from his subpar game he played against Portland on Monday night, when he scored just 13 points and was just six-for-14 from the field.

Davis’ gift to James was 20 points and eight rebounds.

New teammates Dennis Schroder (21 points) and Wesley Matthews (18) also made big contributions in the win.

Vogel’s first time coaching James was last season when he was 35. During the year that saw James turn 36, Vogel has been impressed.

“Well, I think the evolution to this stage of his career has really taken place — more than anything that’s going to happen this year — he’s really grown with his three-point game,” Vogel said. “He knows how to just take advantage of what the defense is giving him mentally. He’s seen every type of double team, every type of defense. And I think the second year in our system that we established all together last year, he’s just really sharp with all of our coverages and the way we’re doing things. So, I think much of any type of evolution has already transpired up until this point.”