LeBron James Calls Lakers' Win vs. Celtics 'One of the Best Games of the Season'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after dunking during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

LeBron James called the Los Angeles Lakers' 117-102 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night "one of the best games of the season" so far for the star-studded squad.

James added it was "as close to 48 minutes" as the Lakers have come during an up-and-down 13-12 start to the 2021-22 NBA season.

Tuesday's game marked one of the first times during the campaign L.A.'s Big Three of James, Anthony Davis and LeBron James were all clicking together. They combined for 71 points while knocking down 29 of their 48 shots from the field (60.4 percent).

The Lakers were able to build a five-point halftime lead that they extended to 16 at the end of the third quarter before cruising to the finish line.

Westbrook, who dished out 11 assists, also praised the team's overall performance afterward.

"As a player like myself, you want to make sure you approach all games the same while also understanding the significance of this particular game," he told reporters. "That makes it a good win for us."

The Lakers shot 51.6 percent from the floor as a team and won the rebounding battle 51-34 on the strength of 13 offensive boards.

Now the question will become whether the marquee win was a sign of clear progress by L.A., which has been hampered by injuries and chemistry issues following an offseason roster overhaul, or just a continuation of their uneven play so far.

The team's talent isn't a concern. Between the Big Three and a deep, versatile group of role players, the Lakers should be able to compete with the NBA's elite. It's just unclear how long it will take to reach that point, especially with key injuries slowing the process.

A comprehensive win over the Celtics is a step in the right direction.

"I just like the way we competed tonight on both sides of the floor," James said. "We had a lot of intensity, a lot of ball movement. Guys were attacking the rim. I think defensively, besides the first 14-point avalanche on [Jayson] Tatum's part, we locked in from that point forward."

The Lakers, who've now won three of their past four games, will look to keep building off their recent success when they visit the FedEx Forum to battle the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.