The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had the best start to their game against the Detroit Pistons tonight. However, defying all odds, LeBron James has got off to a flyer.
In just 17 minutes of the first half, LeBron had already scored 20 points, shooting 7-10 from the field, and 4-5 from three. This is his 3rd consecutive game with 20 points scored in just the first half.
The last Laker who achieved this record was Kobe Bryant, who did it back in 2012. In the last 25 seasons, LeBron, Kobe, and Shaquille O’Neal are the only Lakers who have accomplished this feat.
LeBron is the Lakers’ leader, and this is the best way to live up to that tag. With the rest of the team struggling to get going, he is leading from the front and keeping the Lakers in the game. They are also missing Anthony Davis tonight, which adds more responsibility on LeBron’s shoulders.
The lowly Pistons were just two points behind them at half-time, which has certainly rung alarm bells in the Lakers camp.
Can LeBron James inspire the team to a win?
The Lakers are coming off a loss against the 76ers. It was their first road defeat of the season after winning 10 consecutively. Tonight, they continue their road trip in Detroit, whose record (4-14) is almost the opposite of theirs (14-5).
Unsurprisingly, the Pistons are struggling after a very poor off-season. Although new arrival Jerami Grant has been playing at borderline All-Star levels, the rest of the team is nowhere close to acceptable.
Pistons desperately need this win and have been working hard since the first minute for it. But they have been unable to contain LeBron who is showering points on their helpless defense. With no AD, LeBron is focusing more on scoring than playmaking. Despite this approach, he still had seven assists by the third.
Bron has been supported well by Kyle Kuzma, who started in AD’s absence. By the end of the third quarter, Kuzma had 19 points, while shooting 8-13 from the field. This is exactly what the team expects him to do, and he is making the best out of the opportunities he gets.
The Lakers defense has also been shaky, and they have been unable to get stops. They were down by four points after three quarters. If they don’t improve their defensive effort, they risk a successive loss for the first time this season.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops