Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) celebrate in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on February 8, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James scored a 28-point triple double as the injury-depleted Los Angeles Lakers bagged a fifth consecutive win on Monday in a 119-112 overtime defeat of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
For a second straight game, James and the Lakers were forced to dig deep in overtime, overturning a double-digit deficit early in the fourth quarter to grind out their 19th win of the season.
With the Lakers missing Anthony Davis and Alex Caruso through injury, Oklahoma City led for long periods with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (29 points) and Darius Bazley (21) outstanding.
The @Lakers win their 5th in a row behind @KingJames’ trip-dub!
28 PTS | 14 REB | 12 AST pic.twitter.com/llzXS8yvuc
— NBA (@NBA) February 9, 2021
Oklahoma City led 90-79 with just over 10 minutes remaining but saw their lead cut in half at 107-102 with two minutes left.
An 8-0 run put the Lakers in charge with just seconds of regulation left before Gilgeous-Alexander nailed three free throws to tie the game and force overtime.
The Lakers reasserted themselves in the extra period however, with Montrezl Harrell, Dennis Schroder and Wesley Matthews putting them 117-110 ahead.
A James slam-dunk made it 119-112 to seal the Lakers win.
James finished with 14 rebounds and 12 assists to complete his third triple double of the season.
The King is unreal 👑
RTs = Votes #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/vR24W5ZXmw
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 9, 2021
He was backed with 19 points from Schroder and 21 from Harrell off the bench. Matthews also delivered a big contribution off the bench with 16 points.
A relieved James said the Lakers needed to improve their urgency after being forced to come from behind.
“We’ve got to be more conscientious how we start games,” James said.
“Getting down double digits is not something we want to have. Our pace was very slow at the start of the game, but we understand that and we know what we need to do to change that.”
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