LOS ANGELES – LeBron James scored 50 points for the 15th time in his career and helped rally the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half to a 122-109 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
The 37-year-old became the oldest player to earn multiple games of 50 points in a season. Knicks legend Bernard King was the oldest to do so at 34 in 1990-1991 with Washington.
“He’s really good at basketball,” said coach Frank Vogel, “LeBron James said.” “Just an incredible, epic performance. Unbelievable. When he gets tears, try to leave him inside for as long as possible and make sure he has enough gas in the tank to finish.”
This is the second game in a row that James has scored at least 50 goals and the third time he has played for the Lakers. He had a season-high 56 in a win over Golden State last Saturday.
James is the first Lakers player since the late Kobe Bryant in 2008 to play a home 50-point streak.
“We just needed to gather our energy and get more details on how we wanted to attack the tackles. We did that, especially in the third quarter,” James, who was 18 out of 25 off the field and made six three-pointers in 36 minutes, said. “I managed to hit a hot streak at some point. I just tried to stay in that area as long as possible and hit a couple.”
James also had six rebounds and moved past Dikembe Mutombo to 12th on the list of professional defensive rebounds in the NBA with a score of 8,553.
James reclaimed the Lakers with 12 consecutive points during the 22-8 period when they led 82-75 with 2:25 remaining. James’ attack included a thunderous mid-quarter dunk to lift Los Angeles 73-70.
He then had 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers steadily moved away. Los Angeles, which had lost six of its last seven in the game, went up by 18 midway through the fourth inning.
Malik Monk scored 21 points, and Tallinn Horton Tucker added 15 points for the Lakers.
Kyle Kuzma, who has played with the Lakers for four seasons, led Washington with 23 points, with rookie Cory Kisbert scoring 21 points, including five three-pointers.
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