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LeBron James Says 'My Teammates Got on My Ass' During Lakers' Win vs. Heat

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) stands on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Miami. The Lakers won 113-110. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

LeBron James played his worst half of basketball of the season against the Miami Heat on Friday, turning the ball over seven times and shooting 4-of-11 from the field as the Los Angeles Lakers trailed by eight points going into the break.

His teammates apparently let him know about it.

"My teammates got on my ass," James told ESPN's Israel Gutierrez after the Lakers' 113-110 victory. "They told me you're playing too passive, thinking about the game way too much instead of read and reacting and doing what you do. ... [Anthony Davis] got on me, Boogie Cousins got on me, and they told me to just be me. So I was like, 'Thank God we have two halves in a basketball game,' where I can flush the first one and then come back and try to help us win."

James righted the ship after halftime, committing only one more turnover and scoring 17 of his 28 points in the second half. He finished with 28 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, narrowly missing out on his seventh triple-double of the season.

"We all have respect for each other and have the confidence to go up to whoever and try to get them going," Davis said. "The fact that he listens and everybody on the team accepts constructive criticism from our guys is what makes us so good."

The Lakers have won six straight and are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA's best record at 23-3. James has been sloppier with his turnovers in the month of December, averaging 4.7 per game. He has also coughed it up at least five times in his last three games.

Of course, James is also taking on more of a lead ball-handler role than he has at any other point of his career. He is averaging an NBA-high 10.8 assists per game, which would be a career high and the first time he's ever led the league in that category.

The Lakers' next game is against an Atlanta Hawks team that has floundered on defense all season, so James should be able to keep up the good vibes from the second half.