LeBron James Says 'I Never Will Cheat the Game' After Lakers' Win vs. Kings

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 24: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during a game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on March 24, 2019 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 Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images,)
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward LeBron James said Sunday night he "never will cheat the game" after recording a triple-double in a 111-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings, the team's first game since being eliminated from playoff contention.

"I would never cheat myself," James said during his postgame interview. "I know we're out [of] the playoff race, but if I'm on the court, I'm going to play how I play, and I play to win. So I never will cheat the game.

"There's such a thing called 'game gods.' And they're watching no matter what you're doing, and it's our obligation to go out and be a professional, and that's what I'm about."

The four-time MVP finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his second triple-double in the past six games.

Although the Lakers didn't live up to expectations after signing LeBron to a four-year, $153.3 million contract in free agency, he's remained a force on an individual level.

The 34-year-old Ohio native has averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists while shooting 50.8 percent from the field across 53 appearances. He ranks sixth among all players in ESPN's real plus-minus with a net positive impact at both ends of the court.

James' groin injury suffered during a Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors started the Lakers' downfall, as he missed the next five weeks of action. The result is his first season without playoff basketball since 2004-05 with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He's healthy now, however, and it sounds like he's going to play out the rest of the regular season as if L.A. was still hunting a postseason berth.

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