NBA Hoops

After epic night, LeBron James looks ahead: ‘I don’t have much time left’

LeBron James ties career high with 9 3-pointers, as Lakers handle Nets

LeBron James would only hint at how long he expects to keep playing NBA basketball.

“Not very long, I’m not going to play another 21 years, that’s for damn sure,” James said after he had one of the best shooting nights of his illustrious career, going 9-for-10 behind the arc to tie his career high for 3-pointers. “I don’t know when that door will close, but I don’t have much time left.”

James once again looked like an ageless wonder as he played his 1,485th career game and matched a season-high with 40 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 116-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.

James had the sellout crowd at Barclays Center standing on its feet as he put the finishing touches on his 3-point shooting display in the fourth quarter. He reached 40 points for the third time this season, most recently on March 16 in a home loss to Golden State.

The Lakers have won five of six since then, and this victory moved them a season-high nine games over .500 with seven games remaining in the regular season. Los Angeles remained ninth in the Western Conference, but the Lakers could catch the Sacramento Kings for eighth or the Phoenix Suns for seventh in the West, taking them out of the single-elimination No.9-vs.-No 10 play-in game.

If James has another game like this in the postseason, just about anything is possible for the NBA’s career scoring leader who continues to amaze at age 39.

The 20-time All-Star finished 13-for-17 overall as the Lakers played the fourth game of a six-game road trip and rebounded from a loss Friday night at Indiana that snapped their five-game winning streak.

“I put in a lot of time working on my craft,” James said.

Anthony Davis added 24 points and 14 rebounds, and Rui Hachimura had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a game the Lakers led by 20 in the first quarter and controlled throughout. Brooklyn got its deficit inside double digits just once in the second half. 

Cam Thomas, trying to rally them after their dismal start.

“But can’t do nothing when somebody hits 9-for-10 from 3,” Thomas said. “Made every 3 he put up so it’s tough, but I feel like we played really well second through the fourth. It was just the first quarter was pretty tough on us, starting off that slow,”

James also made nine 3-pointers on Jan. 24, 2023, against the Clippers, shooting 9-for-14. His 90% accuracy was the second-best of his career in games in which he made at least five 3-pointers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He was 5 for…

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