Tiktuknu: Summary of today's events in sports, 25.1 (Sport1)
If LeBron James had been told that he would score 46 points and set a new career high of 9 three-pointers, he would surely have thought that such an evening would end in victory.
It ended tonight (between Tuesday and Wednesday) with the Lakers' 133:115 defeat by the Clippers in the Los Angeles derby, and the level differences were clear - from start to finish.
"I was able to hit a few shots and keep us in the game, but the Clippers are really good," admitted King James, who is now 177 points away from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time record (38,387), which he may break in the Lakers' upcoming road trip.
"Right now I'm not thinking about it," he said.
"I'm just trying to play the right way, that's how I've always played."
"I'm happy for LeBron, but we just have to be better," Darwin Hamm said.
"We have to help him."
This help will arrive soon, according to reports in the United States: Anthony Davis is supposed to return to the floor tonight, for the game against San Antonio.
Five and a half weeks after injuring his right leg, the great interior player who put up 27.4 points and 12.1 rebounds per game this season should take part in the contest but will only get 20-24 minutes.
In the games he was absent, the Lakers posted a not bad record of 10:10, mainly thanks to LeBron's tremendous ability.
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Even before the game, Rob Plinka said that the trade for Roy Hachimura (who will make his debut tonight) was an "opportunity to strike an early blow in the trade market", and clarified that "this does not mean that we are done working".
The general manager admitted that he is considering whether to give up the first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, which are considered the main bargaining chips for the Lakers, and will do so only in a deal that guarantees him to fight for a championship, "nothing less than that."
When asked whether LeBron and Davis will have a part in the decisions that will be made until the trade window closes, Palinka replied: "They and Darwin Hamm are always involved in what happens in the management. But LeBron has already said that his job is to play basketball and the coach's job is to coach. I agree with that. Everyone has to do The peaceful work, and we all have to work together. This is how we worked and this is how we will continue."
About Hachimura himself, the GM said: "Our mission is to improve the team now and in the future, and we felt Roy was a perfect way to do that."
Darwin Hamm added: "I was very impressed with him. He is diverse, strong, athletic, talented and I am enthusiastic about the possibility of coaching him. He will give us a lot."
On the other hand, the Clippers celebrated their tenth victory in a row in the derby.
"LeBron had a big shooting night, but we survived it," said his former coach Tyronn Lue.
"We simply tried to prevent everyone else from scoring, and to stop him one on one."
Paul George, who led with 27 points, added: "We're building something good here, we just have to stay healthy. LeBron was scary, I've seen him like that before, that look in his eyes. We couldn't let him take over the game."
* The captains for the NBA All-Star Game will be announced this Thursday.
LeBron James will probably be one of them, and the other Kevin Durant or Giannis Antetokounmpo, but this time there is a change around the big event of the league - unlike in the past, when they chose the teams several days before the game, this time it will happen live on TV, on the day of the game, on February 19 in Salt Lake City.
* Durant himself made it clear: "I really want to play in the All-Star if I can, but I don't want to rush myself."
Right now, the injured Brooklyn star will be out for another two weeks, a memory of the injury against Miami on January 8.
* Memphis center Steven Adams injured his knee in the loss to Phoenix and now it appears that he will be out for 3-5 weeks.
The New Zealander averages 8.6 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game this season.
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* Zaion Williamson continues his recovery from the hamstring injury, but it will be some time before he returns to the floor.
The New Orleans star will be tested again in just two weeks, and then it will be decided whether he can return to action.
Brandon Ingram, who hasn't played since Nov. 25, should be back soon.
Los Angeles Lakers