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LeBron James Speaks on Los Angeles Lakers' Near 20-Point Comeback vs. Dallas Mavs; Luka Doncic's Potential

Lakers superstar LeBron James shared his perspective on the team's near 20-point comeback against a Mavs team led by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

LOS ANGELES — Entering the fourth quarter of the Dallas Mavericks' 104-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, they held a 20-point lead. LeBron James scored 16 of his 26 points in the final period, giving the Lakers a brief two-point lead down the stretch before Kyrie Irving scored the Mavs' final seven points to ice the game. 

James appreciated the Lakers' execution in the fourth quarter to manage such a rallying effort. Still, he acknowledged that against such a high-powered offense like the Mavs with Luka Doncic and Irving, it's too daunting of a task to have to overcome such a significant deficit. 

"We gave ourselves a fighting chance, but it's kind of tough when you go down that many points, especially going to the fourth against a high-powered offense," James said. "I like our defense in the last 12 minutes. It's got to be better for the first 36."

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James & Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic

The Lakers began the final period with a 13-2 run, cutting the Mavs' lead to just 93-84 with 7:09 remaining in regulation. James viewed the initial surge as vital for Los Angeles to begin a legitimate comeback attempt with him leading the charge. 

"Well, I love the fourth quarter, obviously; I just hate going into that situation where we're down and just try to see what we could do like those first four or five minutes," James said. "Let's see if we can make a push and we were able to do that the first four or five minutes, and I'm pretty much throughout the rest of the game."

After Irving converted on a go-ahead catch-and-shoot 3 with about 22 seconds remaining in regulation to put the Mavs up 102-101, James turned it over by passing out of the post. Irving was sent to the free throw line after and made both attempts. James then had a game-tying 3-point attempt on the final play but missed it.

"Yeah, I left it a little short — right read, just the quarterback left it short," James said of his pass to Davis. "I didn't lead my receiver, and I got picked off."

After finishing with 30 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists on Wednesday, Doncic has averaged 24.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.2 assists in 12 games versus James in his career. James has made his respect known for the Slovenian superstar over the years and stated that Doncic has unlimited potential up to his desire. 

"Wherever he wants to — it's up to him," James said of Doncic. "We know what he's capable of doing on the floor, so that's what I'll question. It's up to him." 

The Mavs and Lakers will face off again on Dec. 12 at American Airlines Center, with a final matchup between the two teams occurring at Arena on Jan. 17.