LeBron James: 'Put Some Respect' on Chris Paul's Name After Thunder Beat Rockets

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) dribbles against Oklahoma City Thunder's Chris Paul (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 112-107. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

LeBron James took notice as Chris Paul scored 28 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 104-100 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series Monday night.

OKC's victory forces a Game 7 on Wednesday to determine which team will advance to face James' Los Angeles Lakers in the conference semifinals.

Along with his team-high 28 points, Paul added seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and no turnovers in 40 minutes. He was a plus-20 in the contest; no other player was better than plus-seven.

"When it gets to clutch time, fourth quarter, some people are built for it, some people shy away from it," Paul told TNT's Jared Greenberg after the Game 6 win. "Some people are built for it, man, and we're just gonna keep hoopin'."

Although Paul isn't often mentioned among the best players of his generation, he's built a resume worthy of at least being in the conversation. He ranks second among active players (behind only James) and 12th in NBA history in win shares, per Basketball Reference.

"When you're as competitive as myself and the guys on our team, it don't matter if it was my mom and my auntie, we wanna hoop. We wanna win," Paul said. "Yes, it was the team I played for last year, but regardless, it's gonna be the same energy no matter who it is."

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The 35-year-old Wake Forest product has averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals through the first six games of the series.

He'll likely need another standout performance Wednesday if the Thunder are going to keep their championship hopes alive for at least another round.