LeBron James Criticized by Lakers Fans for Missed OT Shots Against Luka Dončić, Mavs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a foul call during the second half of the game against Dallas Mavericks at Crypto.com Arena on January 12, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Some NBA fans were unrelenting toward LeBron James after the Los Angeles Lakers star went without a field goal across two overtimes in Thursday's 119-115 loss to Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks.

It was a night to forget for James overall. Although he nearly finished with a triple-double (24 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists), he went 9-of-28 from the field and missed all seven of his three-point attempts. That includes an 0-of-6 clip in the two overtime periods.

In the final seconds of the first overtime, James attacked the basket for what would've been the game-winner. Mavericks forward Christian Wood denied him at the rim.


DOUBLE OT NOW ON TNT <a href="https://t.co/6wFSmHLUZc">pic.twitter.com/6wFSmHLUZc</a>

LeBron logged 46:45 on the floor, which may have played a role in him fading down the stretch. His performance in the latter stages certainly left something to be desired.

Mike Wise @MikeWiseguy

Here's the most painful part of watching the Lakers: LeBron and Westbrook miss a couple deep looks and they get gun-shy from 20 feet or further late in the game. If they could get one consistent knock-down 3-point threat, they're right back in it.

Jason Smith @howaboutafresca

How much is LeBron thinking "Everyone wants me to take it to the hoop at the end of the game. So I did. I missed and didn't get a foul call. Screw that. From now on, it's only bad 3's at the end of games &amp; OT."

Skip Bayless @RealSkipBayless

LeBron needs more help - from himself. He went 9-28 tonight including the 0-7 from three. HE should've taken over and won this game. Once again, he couldn't close. No closer gene.

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS

LeBron is actually shooting fairly well in the clutch this season (20-of-40 from the field). It's the last few seconds, on the obvious isos, where he's struggling.<br><br>He's not an elite jump shooter and he's lost so much acceleration that he can't get to the rim in those situations. <a href="https://t.co/jvoB1tmfpj">https://t.co/jvoB1tmfpj</a>

J. Michael @ThisIsJMichael

LBJ pulling up for a 3, after he hasn't made one all night, couldn't have had worse form. A desperation shot. Right leg sweeps completely forward and hes leaning. Not on balance. That shot had no choice but to hit the back of the rim <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MavsLakers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MavsLakers</a>

Wiley Jawhary @wileyjawharytv

I love Lebron but he just can't CLOSE…

J.Michael Trautmann @JMACdaKID

LeBron needs 4th quarter scorers.

Michael Corvo @michaelcorvoNBA

LeBron on the Lakers crunchtime struggles: "The 1 consistent thing we have is a billion different lineups...teams have closing lineups...we got a lot of guys that's banged up. It's almost like, who's in a good rhythm...is going to be probably on the floor along w/ myself &amp; Russ." <a href="https://t.co/hjYZ5oxGFj">pic.twitter.com/hjYZ5oxGFj</a>

D1Dino @RealD1Dino

LeBron James with 24 points in such a close game.. not much contributed in both OTs. Super disappointed 😢 Luka Doncic showcased how clutch he is to force BOTH over times. Great game overall, refs need to do a better job officiating as there were clear calls missed.

Sherdon Pierre @SherdonPierre

LeBron James runs away from Clutch situations far too much to be the GOAT

elartista410 @elartista410

<a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> who said you was a 3pt shooter? Stop with the fade away 3pt shots. Post up and fade away. You gotta be smart in clutch time. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LALvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LALvsDAL</a>

Dončić, meanwhile, put up 35 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season. He also had five of the Mavericks' 18 points across the two overtimes.

The loss dropped the Lakers to 19-23. Although they're 13th in the Western Conference, they're only one game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for the final play-in spot. A 2.5-game gap separates them from the Los Angeles Clippers for the sixth seed as well.

L.A. has a few days to stew on the defeat before it's back in action Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers.