LeBron James’ first triple-double of the season lifts the Lakers at MSG

New York — LeBron James He would soon be the NBA’s leading scorer, though that was never his focus.

He’s also one of the best passers in the game, and the combination of the two – perhaps better than anyone else – is what really makes him proud.

“I haven’t gotten to this point in my career by thinking about records or how many points I have, whatever the case may be,” said James. “I’m playing the game the right way. I get close to the game every night just trying to be a triple threat by scoring, rebounding, assisting, defending and the chips may fall where they can.”

James moved within 89 points of breaking the career scoring record and moved up to fourth on the assists list, and finished with his first triple-double of the season on his return to Madison Square Garden as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New York Knicks 129-123 in overtime Tuesday night. .

James scored 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, giving him 38,299 points for his career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar He is the leader with 38,387.

But James’ game has always been about more than just scoring, as he proved once again on Tuesday. was fed Dennis Schroeder For a 3-pointer snapping a 118-all tie with 3:13 remaining, he grabbed his 10th rebound later in the extra period and then ran into the basket for a 127-121 lead with 19 seconds left.

“He does it all,” said Lakers coach Darvin Hamm. “It’s what great players do. It’s what greats do all the time, and it’s at the top of the list with all of them.”

James had earlier moved ahead of Mark Jackson and then Steve Nash into fourth on the assists list during his first game at Madison Square Garden in three years. James is the fifth player in the shooting era to rank in the top five in both career points and assists, joining Bob Cousy, Dolph Shayes, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.

His first triple-double of the season was the 106th of his career, one shy of tying Jason Kidd for fourth all-time, although he has passed Kidd for most seasons with a triple-double. James became the fourth-oldest player in NBA history with a triple-double and the oldest with 20-point triple-double.

Anthony Davis He added 27 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who had lost two straight points to open their career. James and Davis both sat out their losses on Monday in Brooklyn.

Galen Bronson He scored 37 points and Julius Randel He had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who were 7-for-34 from 3-point range and fell back for the second time in a row.

“We’re scoring a lot, and that’s not our problem,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. So we have to strengthen our defense.

James was furious after his last game, the Lakers’ overtime loss in Boston on Saturday, after which the umpires said they misjudged him to the basket to end regulations.

Then Monday sat out with what Hamm said caused foot pain, even though the Lakers mentioned the ankle injury. They listed him as questionable to play in the morning, then promoted James to be available after he moved well during pre-match training.

He certainly didn’t want to miss this one after getting hurt two years ago and serving a one-game suspension last season for beating Detroit. Isaiah Stewart in the face. His last game here was on January 22, 2000, when he was days away from passing Kobe Bryant for third on the career scoring list.

Now the only one left is Abdul-Jabbar, which might happen in the next 10 days. James said the closeness didn’t make him feel any heavier.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said, “I’m going to be in this league for at least a few more years.” “So I’ll do it, so it’s not heavy at all.”

The match was drawn at 90 before James was fed Troy Brown Jr. For pointer 3 with his eighth help, then set it up Thomas Bryant for a dunk, which moved him ahead of Jackson and then Nash into fourth for assists. He has 10,338 assists.

James has long described MSG as one of his favorite places to play, and the visit has drawn an audience of celebrities such as Michael J. Fox, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Stone, and Chris Rock. Fans filled the seats in the lower sections of the arena just to watch James warm up, but he struggled to give them one of his old performances once the game got underway.

He threw an air ball in the second quarter as part of his 2-for-8 start, but made two final shots of the half, then threw a pass that Schroeder fielded from his half court to beat the buzzer and cut it to 53–52 at halftime.

It was recently acquired Roy Hashimura He had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, while Russell Westbrook He added 17 points and eight assists, three of them in overtime.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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