The 50-point triple-double was the fourth his career, setting an National Basketball Association record.
"We're playing against one of the greatest players to ever play the game", Wizards coach Scott Brooks said before tipoff, "and we definitely are undermanned". "I'm like what do I got?"
Historically, it was a night to remember.
It marked the first time that two Lakers teammates had triple doubles in the same game since the "Captain" Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the "Boss" Magic Johnson back in 1982. And if that can't be accomplished by one move at the moment, it doesn't really make much sense for this team to burn one of its assets - especially if one of those same assets could help them land the player that could help them beat the Warriors in the future. "That's kind of the way you have to view it, that you have a lot of season left and lot of time to right the ship, and that's kind of where we're at right now". They'll enter that matchup with an 18-12 record. Not only does his playing style struggle to coexist with James, but his overall production has declined from previous year. They had arrived back in Texas having lost two on the road to fall three games under.500 for the first time in two decades.
Bouncing back from a 126-111 loss in Houston on Thursday, the Lakers are now 18-11, reports Clutch Points, which places the team in the fourth spot of the Western Conference. After acquiring Lebron James, Los Angeles is in high hopes that he'll lead them through a victorious season.
"You can't put him on the line", said James. They trailed by five with under three minutes left in the half before a 13-3 finishing surge for a 62-57 lead.
It was James who made Ball aware that the former No. 2 pick had 14 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds through three quarters and was nearing the milestone.
"I needed him. That's why I made the jump", said James. "Not only is he offensive rebounding, but as a whole I think we're ninth in the league in offensive rebounding".
Through the first part of the season, it seemed like some of those questions were starting to be answered, and it didn't look good for LeBron and the Lakers.
"There's always perspective to be had", Walton said.