LeBron James added another record to his resume as he proceeds with his chase for a fourth career title.
No one has played in the same number of NBA playoff triumphs.
James scored 36 points, Rajon Rondo started a final quarter rally and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 112-102 on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.
The victory gave James his NBA-record 162nd postseason triumph, outperforming previous Lakers guard Derek Fisher’s 161.
”It’s very humbling,” James said. ”It’s something that I never dreamed of.”
James had seven bounce back, five assists and four blocks as he helped lead the Lakers’ second-half defensive surge. The Rockets had 64 points at halftime yet were held to 38 the rest of the way.
”Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ”That’s true for this season. That’s why he should be MVP. Honestly, it’s probably true in the history of the game. Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James. To see him have that actual numerical statistic is just indicative of that.”
James arrived at the achievement with a lot of help from Rondo, who became the first player to have at least 12 points and five assists the final quarter of a playoff game since James for the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 22, 2010, as indicated by STATS.
Rondo got done with 21 points and nine assists. He scored eight straight points during a 10-0 run right off the bat in the period that put the Lakers ahead for good. Rondo helped on the other bushel during that stretch.
”I just took what was given,” Rondo said. ”It started on the defensive end for me. Guys found me when I was open, and I took the shots with confidence. And I got some easy layups.”
Anthony Davis had 26 points and Kyle Kuzma included 14. James Harden scored 33 focuses and Russell Westbrook had 30 for the Rockets.
Rockets forward Robert Covington was taken to the locker room in the wake of crashing into Davis in the final quarter. The left half of Covington’s face hit Davis’ right arm, while Covington’s left elbow hit Davis’ right side.
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t have a report on Covington after the game.
The game included 16 lead changes and 15 ties, with neither one of the teams pulling ahead by in excess of six points until the Lakers took control late.
”Too many 50-50 balls we didn’t get, too many times we just weren’t sharp,” D’Antoni said. ”We just weren’t quick to the ball or quick to a play and it got away from us. They hit a lot of good hard shots. Tonight they got us. Next time, we’ll see what we can do.”
Rondo helped on a layup by James that put the Lakers ahead with around 10 minutes remaining. Rondo at that point hit a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 89-85 bit of leeway, their biggest lead to that point.
After a Houston break, Westbrook missed a shot and Rondo sank another 3. Rondo at that point took the ball from Harden and made a layup to cap the 10-0 run.
”Playoff Rondo is real,” Davis said. ”His intensity picks up. He wants to guard the best perimeter guy. … He’s shooting the ball very well, making the right passes. His IQ is on another level.”
LA controlled the last time frame for the subsequent straight game. The Lakers blew a noteworthy lead in Game 2 yet outscored Houston by 10 in the final quarter to win 117-109.
”I just thought in the second half they played a little bit harder than we did,” D’Antoni said. ”Our legs, we were a little slow off a lot of things, especially on the defensive end. We didn’t create enough turnovers to run.”