LeBron James
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

LeBron Erupts In 4th As Lakers Sweep Spurs

by Rodrigo Azurmendi
Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES – If San Antonio is going to keep letting him shoot like that in 2020, LeBron James is going to keep having these type of nights against them.

The King casually put up 19 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and the Lakers hung 78 in the second half en route to a 129-102 win over the Spurs.

“He’s got the ultimate green light to shoot when teams sag off of him or run under in the pick-and-roll and he does a great job of picking his spots,” coach Frank Vogel said.

James was having one of his usual well-rounded performances at the end of the third, and Vogel’s squad was trying to put away a pesky San Antonio team.

He checked back into the game to begin the 4th, and rapidly sank his second three-pointer of the night. Sixty seconds later came his third. A little over a minute later came the fourth. With 8:55 he added yet another, followed by a steal on Derrick White.

Then this happened:

The celebration had it all: Kyle Kuzma’s disbelief, LeBron’s incredulous smile, and as many as six members of the bench sprinting in glee towards the hero of the night.

“That’s who we’ve been all year,” Vogel said. “That part of us is not going to change. We’re going to continue to enjoy each other and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Have fun. It’s part of our identity.”

The sequence completely broke the game open, yet the Lakers looked the be in good shape throughout most of the night.

The defense held the Spurs to 41 points in the first half, as only DeMar DeRozan was able to – sometimes – crack the code.

“We played exceptionally well early defensively,” Vogel said.

The supporting cast was excellent once again, with the center duo dominating both rims: Dwight Howard had 12 points and 11 boards in 22 minutes, while JaVale McGee chipped in 14 and 5 in a short, yet effective 15-minute shift.

James and Rajon Rondo (nine assists a piece) kept the offense humming to the tune of 58.8% from the field and a deadly 12-for-28 from beyond the arc.

Kuzma added a double-double (18 points and 12 rebounds) in one of his most complete games of the season – one where his offensive output was solid, yet the rest of his game was vital in setting the tone thanks to his incredible effort on defense and cleaning the glass.

“People see me play hard and it’s positivity around," he said. "Everyone is clapping, getting up, excited. It raises the level of everyone else. Just playing with energy. Ball finds energy”.

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