LeBron James’ minutes limit lasted less than two games, but the Los Angeles Lakers star says it was an easy decision to go “outside the box” in order to beat the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.
Los Angeles came into this season planning to play LeBron under 30 minutes per game. However, with the Lakers trailing entering the fourth quarter, the 38-year-old elected to play all of the final 12 minutes to lead the team to its first win of the season.
“(Head coach Darvin Ham) asked me if I could go the (whole) quarter, and I looked at the time and the score and what was going on in the game, and it was an easy answer for myself,” James said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I know how much work I’ve put in to be able to play quarters or whatever the case may be. And I understand that we definitely have a system put in place, but tonight called for me to go outside the box.”
James’ presence was crucial in the Lakers’ win over the Suns as the veteran scored two consecutive baskets in the final two minutes to put his team ahead 95-91. He finished the 100-95 win with 21 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds in 35 minutes.
Ham praised the 38-year-old for “laying it all out” for the Lakers following the game.
“My hat’s off to him, man,” Ham noted. “He never ceases to amaze us. He cares. … That’s why you see his type of stat line. He’s laying it all out for his team in Year 21, and I just hope a lot of these young pros out here are looking and seeing what he’s doing.”
The Lakers resume their regular season Sunday with a road matchup against the Sacramento Kings.
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