The Los Angeles Lakers picked up a much-needed win on January 31, earning an overtime victory over the New York Knicks by a score of 129-123. If they had lost, it would have marked their fourth loss in five games and plummeted their record to 23-29 on the season.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis stepped up in a big way, taking down Jalen Brunson’s Knicks. Brunson put up some ridiculous numbers and made some impressive defensive plays down the stretch of the game. After the game, James praised Brunson and Davis for their late-game actions. He compared this win to LA’s loss to the Boston Celtics on January 28.
“Well, I mean, the difference between here and Boston is obviously self-explanatory,” James stated via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “I mean, we were up six. We had an opportunity to kind of make some plays, but they made plays. And Jalen Brunson took a charge, we got to stop. The game was decided by the players. In Boston, the game was decided by the refs. So it was more demoralizing. You know, it’s no, I mean, we try t. But I mean, obviously, what happened in Boston was what happened, so tonight again was decided at the end of regulation by the players. Two good defensive stops. Jalen Brunson stepping over [on] AD and then AD locking down defensively, I’m giving a little help. So the game was decided by the players.”
Brunson piggy-backed the Knicks, drawing a charge late in the game and nailing the shot that took the contest to overtime. The Knicks star finished the night with a game-high 37 points to go along with two rebounds, and six assists on 13-of-29 shooting from the floor and 2-of-7 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for James and Davis, they both played well, too. James ended the game with 28 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists on 11-of-25 shooting from the floor and 2-of-8 shooting from deep. Meanwhile, Davis put up 27 points and nine boards on 9-of-16 shooting overall.
Jeanie Buss Discusses LeBron James’ Unhappiness
While they managed to pick up a win over New York, the Lakers are still in a rough spot out West. During an appearance on the Know Mercy podcast with Stephen A. Smith, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss discussed James’ unhappiness.
“I mean, unless he’s winning, he’s not going to be happy,” Buss said. “That’s him. That’s what drives him. And I could see why he would be frustrated. We’re all frustrated with, you know, we’re down four starters, and he’s our only remaining starter, and he’s gotta show up and play. And, the burden’s on him.”
Lakers Interested in Gary Trent Jr. Trade
As far as how the Lakers plan to deal with James’ unhappiness, there’s a chance they will get active in the trade market. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports on his podcast, Please Don’t Aggregate This, the Lakers are interested in a potential trade for Gary Trent Jr. of the Toronto Raptors.
“I have been told that Trent is at least on the Lakers’ radar,” Fischer said. “I don’t know if they have actually called Toronto and had active conversations about it, things that actually move the needle, but I’ve been told and believe from credible folks maybe it’s not a lusting desire for Gary Trent, but he at least seems to be someone they’re monitoring. But maybe that’s also just someone from a certain agency suggesting that. Maybe that’s all it is. But we shall see.”