The King polishes his crown

The Hornets, one of the funniest teams of the season, couldn't beat LeBron, who went to 37 points and dominated the game at will.

The-King-polishes-his-crown

The Staples game was the highlight of the day. The Lakers, hopefuls for the title, and the Hornets, the team with the most hype of the season, the most fun, heterogeneous and impressive, had gathered there. One who trains an emerging James Borrego, who has veterans like Gordon Hayward, young people like Devonte 'Graham or Terry Rozier, interesting players like PJ Washington and Cody Zeller and LaMelo Ball, a man who continues with his particular family saga and who has begun his Adventure in the best League in the world on the right foot and legitimately competing for the Rookie of the Year. It was a good test for Michael Jordan's team, which, by the way, seems to have hit the mark despite receiving initial criticism for certain moves, including the hiring of Hayward. It was because they were facing a tall rival with whom you could see, not clearly but slightly, in what position they were and if they could really advance beyond the fun inherent in their encounters.

It is difficult to consider the failed exam, but the reality is what was already known before the duel: that although the Hornets are very cool, they are a project for the future that cannot with the greats right now. And that the goal of the playoffs is enough to lay the first stone on the road to better times. Whatever aspiration, greater than they had, that celestial being that is LeBron James was in charge of stopping it, in another performance to remember. The King went, like someone who doesn't want it, to 37 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, he only lost three balls, he shot with a spectacular 14 of 22 shots from the field and with a good 4 of 9 in triples. He defended, ran, encouraged his teammates and got all those numbers in 36 minutes, without playing more than necessary (as he did in a duel before the All Star), but also not resting unnecessarily. I mean, being LeBron. Without Davis, the lead is clearly and entirely his, and it looks like he's going to be first in command until he wants to or retires. For which, at 36, there is no date.

The Lakers dominated the game against the Hornets, who never left the game but were inferior to their rivals. The Los Angeles advantage was 15 at halftime (60-45), but a tremendous partial from Charlotte put the tie at 64 as soon as they left the locker room tunnel. The Lakers only lost the third period, they went with an advantage to the last 12 minutes (83-79) and sentenced with 8 goals from James in the last period, although in the end and with their rivals always lurking. Damian Jones came out surprisingly in the starting center position, Dennis Schröder scored 22 points and was, again and in the absence of Davis, the second in command, Talen Horton-Tucker went to 12 points and Kyle Kuzma, in the best and most complete moment of his short career, he scored the same. And Montrzl Harrell, that substitute who scores by a tube, this time he had 7 points, but added 11 rebounds and contributed energy again from the bench.

For the Hornets, LaMelo made the cut against El Rey. He lost 6 balls, but went to 26 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists with 10 of 18 on field goals. Hayward did a bit of everything, but could not with almost anything (7 + 9 + 10), Washington scored 18 points, Rozier 20, Graham 12 ... I said, everyone contributes, but they still do not have enough consistency to win to a team of this category. Yes in the regular season, in which anything can happen, but never in a playoff round in which, in any case and in different conferences, they will not meet. In the end, the bottom line is that of every night: LeBron looks immortal and the Lakers will go far if Davis returns (when he does), healthy and fit. But they will fight anyone if The King and his crown maintain this level of brilliance and leadership. And sometimes we forget, seeing such exhibitions, that the Los Angeles star is one of the best players in the current competition (or the best, depending on who you ask) with an age at which the vast majority are already retired. There it is.



Photos from as.com
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