LOS ANGELES — LeBron James scored 13 points and threw down two thundering dunks in more than four minutes to reduce a Clippers lead to 10 from 21 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night.
“It was scary,” said Clippers star guard Paul George. “I saw that look on Bron.”
However, this was something the Clippers hadn’t seen from the Lakers superstar as of Tuesday night. James added another historic feat to his illustrious career when he scored 46 points in a 133-115 Lakers loss to the Clippers, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 40 points against all 30 franchises.
“I wanted Bron to get 40 so he could have 40 against any team,” said Clippers coach Ty Lue, who coached James in Cleveland, with a laugh. “Nope. I mean, he had it going.”
James buried a career-high nine 3-pointers and moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) within 178 points to equal the all-time points record. But his night was bittersweet because it came down to an 18-point loss to the Clippers.
“We’ll see when we get there,” said James of great outplaying at the former Lakers. “We’ll see what, will it hit me? Especially in the last few years, the last few years since we’ve won a league, it’s just been a lot of wins in a loss.
“So it was very difficult to even digest some or all of the achievements because I don’t want to celebrate losses.”
However, George and Kawhi Leonard celebrated James’ career after the Clippers duo were forced to fend off James and the Lakers’ comeback. James scored 15 in fourth, but George and Leonard combined for 52 points to hold off the Lakers.
Leonard and George scored or assisted on the Clippers’ next 12 points after their lead was reduced to 10 only to increase it back to 19.
“It’s just amazing,” George said of James. “I think the only thing that stands out is how long he’s been doing it. to be 38 years old [and score] 46 tonight. That’s super impressive. To do it [for] 20 years what is most striking is simply his longevity in his game and being available. He’s been available pretty much throughout his career.
“The league is his. stand-up guy, been [an] He was a great mentor, a leader for a lot of us young people, and he was great. It’s great that he’ll be top of the table.”
Leonard said James was “inspirational”.
“I didn’t think much about it until he started getting closer,” Leonard said of James getting close to Abdul-Jabbar’s record. “I mean, [James is] unique talent right there. You can see for yourself how he plays at that age.
“Definitely inspirational for everyone just to keep that energy and that attitude, to play for so long and still go out there and contribute to that effort.”