Lakers Notes: LeBron, Davis, Vanderbilt, Trade Deadline

LeBron James added another memorable chapter to his long-running rivalry with Stephen Curry in a double-overtime thriller Saturday night, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The 39-year-old James collected 20 rebounds for the first time in his career as part of a triple double that also included 36 points and 12 assists. After sinking two game-wining free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining, James reflected on his many battles with Curry, which include four NBA Finals.

“It’s been a treat to go against one of the greatest to ever play this game,” James said. “For us to continue to push each other at the state of our careers, you don’t take it for granted because you don’t know how many times you’re actually going to get the moment to actually be on the same floor with such a talent.”

Both players continue to amaze late in their careers, even though the Lakers and Warriors are struggling to reach the play-in tournament. Curry, who scored 46 points and hit a late three-pointer to give Golden State the lead, also talked about what it means to face another all-time great.

“Every year that we get to do this and go back and forth, the battles — the Finals runs, the playoff battles last year — after the horn sounded tonight there was a little laugh of, I can’t imagine a scenario where a game like tonight happens, [with] him in Season 21 and me in Year 15,” Curry said. “You look forward to the battles, but you also appreciate the mutual respect of what it takes to keep doing what you’re doing at this level. Only a few people know how hard it is. I’m happy to be in that group.”

There’s more on the Lakers:

  • Anthony Davis had to leave Saturday’s game due to hip spasms, but he was able to return and told reporters, “I’m good,” tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Davis explained that it’s the same area of his body where he’s experienced a groin injury for most of the season.
  • Even though he came off the bench, Jarred Vanderbilt played more than 40 minutes with 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals. According to Buha (Twitter link), coach Darvin Ham deflected a question about whether he’ll consider returning Vanderbilt to the starting lineup. “Well, right now, I’ll consider getting me something to eat, a nice glass of wine and consider sleeping very soon here,” Ham said. “Getting a good night’s sleep. No lineup questions, please.”
  • Saturday marked the opener of a six-game road trip that could determine how active the Lakers will be at the trade deadline, notes Khobi Price of The Orange County Register.
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