LeBron James Makes NBA History With Most Playoff Wins In Lakers' Game 3 Victory
LeBron James won his 162nd playoff game Tuesday, passing Derek Fisher for the most wins in NBA postseason history.
He did it by scoring 36 points in 37 minutes, lifting the Lakers to a 112-102 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of their second round playoff series.
James made history in dramatic fashion.
He scored 29 points in the first half, the most points he's scored in any half this season.
Then in the third quarter, he had four blocked shots, the most blocks he's had in a quarter in his career.
James, who is 35 years old and in his 17th season in the league, keeps shattering ceilings.
Late Tuesday evening, he said his latest record hadn't yet sunk in.
"It’s very humbling and it’s something I never dreamed of," James said. "I never came into the league as a kid saying, ‘I want to be No. 1 in playoff wins.’ I always said I want to be a part of a winning culture and be a winning player and do whatever it takes to help my teammates win. And this is the result of it."
James has broken a lot of records this season, including passing Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list in Jan. In Game 1 of the Lakers' first-round playoff series against Portland three weeks ago, he became the first player in NBA history to have at least 20 points, 15 assists and 15 rebounds in a postseason game. Two games later, he passed Tim Duncan for No. 2 in all-time playoff wins.
Anthony Davis says he's often taken aback by James.
He pointed to the double-pump dunk that James made at the start of the fourth quarter in Game 2 against the Rockets on Sunday.
"No guy should be able to do that still," Davis said.
Davis added that James making NBA history has become an almost nightly phenomenon. It's normal. It's nearly expected.
"It seemed like he’s drinking from the fountain of youth," Davis said. "The thing he’s able to do on the floor still, head still touching the rim, still taking big shots, still playing physical, it’s all a testament to hard work and the dedication to take care of his body. So I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing another record being broke Thursday."
James acknowledged he puts a lot of time into his body.
Though he wasn't quite willing to divulge details.
"I won’t tell you exactly what I do because I’d be giving my opponents my ingredients," James said. "But let’s just say that my wife is not enjoying what I do on a day to day basis inside the bubble getting ready for a game, let’s just say that. I spend a lot of time, a lot of time on my body."
Despite James' first-half performance, the Lakers were down at halftime, 64-61, largely because the Rockets outscored the Lakers in the paint, 32-26. The Rockets also had 12 points off of the Lakers' 10 turnovers. The Rockets only had four turnovers, none of which the Lakers scored off of.
In the third quarter, the Lakers tightened their defense behind all of James' swats, holding the Rockets to only 18 points. Then in the fourth quarter, another NBA veteran made a big impact.
Rajon Rondo, in his third game back after missing nearly eight weeks because of a fractured right thumb and back spasms, had 12 of his 21 points in the final 12 minutes, helping the Lakers outscore the Rockets, 30-20, after entering the quarter knotted at 82-82.
James said he takes great pride in seeing guys such as him and Rondo playing so well at this stage of their careers.
"Our league kind of tries to weed guys like us in our later years out of the league," James said. "...That’s a little pride as well."
The enormity of James' accomplishments may not have registered yet for him.
But they have for those around him.
"I said it when I talked about the MVP this year, nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "That’s true for this season, it’s why he should be MVP. And honestly, it’s probably true in the history of the game – no one impacts winning more than LeBron James."
For James, he's just enjoying the ride.
After all, not many guys get to be on it for so long.
"You don’t have that many opportunities to be a part of a great team, to be a part of great teammates," James said. "You don’t know. You don’t know what could happen from year to year. So you just try to make the most of it."