LeBron James has kept another title chance alive in his glorious career, leading his Lakers to the semi-finals of the in-season tournament. There are also furious playing Bucks there. The NBA on Wednesday morning.
It took some luck for the Los Angeles Lakers to hold off the Phoenix Suns 106-103 in the quarterfinals of the new in-season tournament and after 14 lead changes. Luck and a LeBron James in gala form. The 38-year-old superstar once again showed no signs of wear and tear and tightened the reins in the fourth quarter.
While Suns protagonist Kevin Durant (31 points) missed a three-pointer with the clock running out and thus missed the chance of overtime, the King scored 15 of his 31 points in Q4 and also got away with a controversial timeout with the referees seconds before the end when teammate Austin Reaves was in danger of losing the ball in his own half.
LeBron’s smart timeout
Reaves had made it 105:101 “from downtown” with 15 seconds left, but the fact that it was still exciting after that was also due to the fact that Anthony Davis only hit one of two free throws. “I’ve been in this situation many times in my career and I know what my job is. But the important shot came from AR,” said James (eleven assists, five steals) in view of his clever and quick request for a timeout and with a view to his guard and his pre-decisive shot.
And what would a first NBA Cup title mean to him? “It is what it is: the first time and we have a chance. So why not? The best basketball players in the world are fighting for it, so let’s fight.” What’s more, as has been said several times in player circles, the pros like the play-off nature of the matches so early in the season. What’s more, the prize money of 500,000 US dollars (around 461,000 euros) per head is at stake in Vegas – a warm shower, especially for the role players with lower salaries
Antetokounmpo shrugs: “The rich get richer “
With the Milwaukee Bucks’ clear 146:122 victory over the New York Knicks (Julius Randle top scorer with 41 points) led by German center Isaiah Hartenstein (four points, seven rebounds, five assists), the third semi-finalist had already been determined. However, Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo (35 points, ten assists) made it clear that he does not yet know all the details of the new competition. In any case, he dryly commented on the 100,000 US dollars in prize money he had just earned for reaching the semi-finals: “Are we getting money now? We’re getting money?” asked the Greek, who is earning 45.64 million US dollars this season, adding with a shrug: “The rich get richer.”
The Lakers face the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday in the battle for a ticket to the final, while the Bucks take on the Indiana Pacers. The final game on Saturday will also take place in the gambling metropolis.