The Los Angeles Lakers already led by 21 points in the second quarter Tuesday against the Houston Rockets when LeBron James took his dominance to another ridiculous level.
James caught a pass in the corner in front of the Lakers bench and was about to make a 3 point with a fake pump when he heard a voice behind him in his ear. It was Laker point guard Dennis Schroeder.
I told him to turn on Benjamin and he fired, Schroeder said after the LA 117-100 victory. He was shot, he turned around and said: I bet you do. Then he came in. It’s just legendary.
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LeBron James says Dennis Schroder bet he didn’t look like a 3 when he shot it. He also looks at comparisons to Steph Curry’s 3-point goals.
It wasn’t just the hat trick on Ben McLemore that doubled the Rockets’ score to 48-24 that was memorable. It was a delivery. You see, James turned to schroder to get the $100 while the ball was still in the air.
I bet I could still shoot the ball, said James, who finished with 26 points as the Lakers improved their league record to 9-3. A bet isn’t official until you look the guy in the eye, so I had to look him in the eye and I could win.
Immediately, James’ teammates were thanked for their skill.
He’s one of the greatest players in the game and what he does is always crazy to watch, Kyle Kuzma said.
In a sport where players are taught from an early age to watch their shots, what James did is not something you see too often. Gilbert Arenas took one out in the game and won by 3 points. Former Lakers guard Nick Young was known to get a shot back when fired. And Stephen Curry, who is considered the best shooter the game has ever seen, will do so from time to time.
Steph has certainly done it more than anyone else in our league, and when you shoot the ball as beautifully, easily and accurately as Steph does, he has the ultimate ultra green light to do it, James said of his former NBA last opponent. Because ten times out of nine, it’s true about Steph.
And James, who hit 4 of 9 at 3 on Tuesday after hitting 1 of 11 deep in the last two games, also has the green light. Whether he was turning while the ball was flying or shooting at the logo to make it fly, which he was doing more and more.
We encourage him to beat the defense, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. There are many reasons for this: He’s probably the best shooter on our team. And (B) they play softly. They go under the screens there. … As for the four-point shots, he has the green light to do them because he does them.
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James didn’t look like a third and now 3-6 after losing four of his last five games seems silly.
It’s not good. Of course not, Houston coach Steven Silas said. Clearly they are together and having fun at our expense. So it’s not good at all, and we should be outraged. It’s like they’re dancing on our own turf. We just have to fight. We have to get through this.
The Lakers bench cracked after the shot, and several of James’ teammates chased him down the court as he retreated to the defense. Bird and James said part of the team’s mission this season is to restore the chemistry that helped them win the championship last year. Moments like this bring the group together.
Everyone had fun, Mr. Schroeder. Everyone talked about it, even during the downtime. It was a great play.
Tim McMahon of ESPN contributed to this report.