LeBron James' run of individual brilliance continued Monday as the Los Angeles Lakers earned their third win in four games, beating the Charlotte Hornets 121-115 at Spectrum Center.
The final score obscured how much Los Angeles was in control. It led by as many as 24 points before a fourth-quarter flurry by the Hornets provided late drama. Charlotte trimmed the deficit to as little as four points but couldn't claw all the way back.
If the Lakers had thrown this one away, it would've marked another example of their failure to maximize James' continued excellence. The 18-time All-Star had 43 points on 16-of-26 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists.
James and Co. were toying with Charlotte midway through the third quarter when he and Dennis Schröder connected for an alley-oop reverse dunk to make it a 22-point game.
Legendary stars make the incredible look routine so often their skills can be taken for granted at times. Even though he's into his 20th season, that still isn't happening with LeBron.
Playing at an elite level at 38 certainly has something to do with that. Social media was once again buzzing during his performance.
Thomas Bryant supplemented James with 18 points and 15 boards, while Schröder and Austin Reaves chipped in 15 points apiece. Russell Westbrook was limited to 11 minutes because of left foot soreness and finished with two points, four rebounds and two assists.
The Lakers will begin a two-game homestand Wednesday against the Miami Heat. It might take another Herculean effort by James to make it four wins in five.