LeBron James had already broken the all-time Christmas scoring record. His Lakers looked listless and trailed the Nets by 18 in the fourth quarter. Defending on the perimeter, LeBron had just watched his teammates surrender an offensive rebound.
When Brooklyn missed again, LeBron swooped between a few teammates to ensure Los Angeles secured the rebound. He pushed the ball up court with urgency, gave it up to screen in a pick-and-pop then hit a 3-pointer.
That bubbling energy boiled over.
The Lakers used a 17-0 fourth-quarter run to overcome a 23-point deficit in the period and set up a thrilling finish. But James Harden hit Nic Claxton on this beautiful and-one alley-oop over LeBron to put the Nets back up for good in a 122-115 victory Saturday:
LeBron (Christmas-career-high 39 points with nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a block) passed Kobe Bryant for most points on Christmas:
But Brooklyn had two big scorers today: Harden (36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) and Patty Mills (34 points and seven assists). That went a long way with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving out due to coronavirus protocols.
The Lakers were also down a star with Anthony Davis injured. Their supposed third star, Russell Westbrook, had a triple-double (13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists). He also shot 4-for-20, and the Lakers got outscored by 23 with him on the court.