The Lakers beat the Rockets by a single point on Sunday after an impressive display from LeBron James. Once again, Dillon Brooks played his part in trying to frustrate the 38-year-old, but it only increased the veteran star’s competitiveness throughout the contest.
Once the game was over, the press asked the Los Angeles squad about the rivalry between James and the Houston guard. However, most of them don’t even believe he’s much a rival to begin with. Rui Hachimura expressed this perfectly.
“I don’t know what’s the beef between those two guys, I know they’ve been doing it for a while now, especially last year in the playoffs,” he said. “For LeBron, it’s nothing. It’s actually good for him. He needs that motivation. It brings him more into the game. As you guys have seen, whatever (Brooks) is doing, it doesn’t do anything to (LeBron). He scores more, he gets rebounds more and we’re winning. Dillon Brooks, he just wants to be part of his legacy.”
It’s clear that Brooks and LeBron don’t really like each other, and proof of this is how intense their clashes have been. Even though the Lakers forward received a technical foul for shoving his opponent, he was polite after the game and admitted feeling impressed by how well Dillon performed.
“He’s a great competitor,” the veteran said of his rival. “I like going against him. And he was hooping tonight, too, for sure. He was shooting the ball exceptionally well, kept them in the game. So, that’s competition. Those young guys, they get me going. So, I need that.”
After the game, teammate Austin Reaves opened up about LeBron and praised the kind of environment he brings to the L.A. locker room. The 25-year-old explained why James’ attitude is one of the biggest reasons why he’s dominated the league for almost two decades.
“The one special thing about Bron is… I’ve never really seen him in a bad mood. He’s always got great energy,” Reaves shared. “He’s the oldest player in the NBA but still acts like he’s 20 every day… I think he plays the game the same way, regardless of who he’s playing.”
After his 37-point display, LeBron revealed he’s been struggling through injuries ever since the start of the campaign
James finished the match vs. Houston with a free-throw point in the final seconds that added to his total 37 points, eight assists, and six rebounds on 14-19 shooting from the field.
Even though he produced one of his most-impressive performances of the current campaign, the 38-year-old admitted that he’s been fighting through some injuries, which made this victory bittersweet.
LeBron James Claims He’s Playing Through Injuries After 37-Point Night Against The Rockets https://t.co/MhK48PIR1A
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) November 20, 2023
“I’m in a really good groove right now. I don’t feel that great right now, dealing with a couple of injuries, little bit under the weather right now… the competition got me going a little bit,” he revealed after beating Houston.
James also reminded himself of the reasons why he wishes to compete basketball at the highest level despite his old age. As his financial future and career accomplishments are already secured, he wants to keep going for as long as his body can endure. “Just trying to push the limit,” he said. “See how far I can take this thing. I don’t know. I mean, it’s me vs. Father Time.”