December 3, 2022

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

LeBron’s 37 points help Lakers beat Hornets and LaMelo Ball

In the Lakers’ fourth game since the All-Star break, LeBron James took a different route to deliver the Lakers another victory.

This time, James became the offensive force, scoring 37 points to help the Lakers pull out a 116-105 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night at Staples Center.

James still played his typical all-around game, producing eight rebounds, six assists, one steal and one blocked shot to lead the Lakers to their fourth consecutive win.

Charlotte rookie point guard LaMelo Ball did not disappoint in his return home for the first time since being drafted No. 3 overall last fall.

Ball, who attended Chino Hills High and won a state championship with his two older brothers in 2016, had 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

In the Lakers’ previous three games, James was more of a facilitator, handing out double-digit assists in those victories.

But James was in attack mode against the Hornets, shooting 14 of 22 from the field and four of nine from three-point range.

“He knew we were playing against a switching team, a zone defensive type of team, probably not going to be as much ball movement against a switch-type-of-defense as we saw last couple of games where we had 36, 37 assists,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said about James.

“I thought he was ultra-aggressive trying to score the ball and particularly shooting the ball over the top in that first half. He set a tone for us.”

After the game was over, Ball embraced James immediately before working his way to the rest of the Lakers before they headed to their locker rooms.

Ball started slowly, finishing the first half with only six points on two-of-eight shooting from the field, missing both of his three-pointers. He had four rebounds and two assists.

He made eight of 10 shots in the second half, sinking two of his three long-range shots.