LOS ANGELES— Trailing by twelve points after three quarters of the Los Angeles Lakers home opener on Thursday, October 26 at Crypto.com Arena, it appeared all hope was lost. LeBron James and the Purple and Gold saved the best for last, rallying for a 100-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
On a night when two NBA icons renewed their rivalry- Phoenix Sun Kevin Durant and Laker LeBron James were both sensational in this clash of Titans. KD scored 39 points, but King James took over in the fourth quarter scoring 10 of his 21 points as the Lakers rallied in large part due to their smothering defense.
Phoenix did not score a point for a seven-minute stretch in the fourth quarter as the Lakers moved in front, being outscored 28-11 in the final frame.
Anthony Davis scored 30 points while grabbing 12 rebounds, Phoenix was without Devin Booker and New addition Bradley Beal, who are both recovering from injuries.
Phoenix did not score a point for a seven-minute stretch in the fourth quarter as the Lakers moved in front.
After Durant tied the game 91-91 on a layup with 1:30 remaining, James made a pair of running layups to give the Lakers a 95-91 lead with 41 seconds to go. Davis sealed the victory by going 4-for-4 at the free-throw line over the final seven seconds.
“We’ve had so many battles, (and) we don’t have many matchups left,” the 38-year-old James said. “Not sure how many we have left, so you don’t ever want to take it for granted when you’re out there with such a great player, one of the best to ever play this game. It’s always a treat. It’s fun.”
The Lakers notched their first victory of the season, the crowd was so boisterous it shook the rafters in a gratifying victory.
Durant and James have been friends since Durant’s senior year of high school 17 years ago, but they improbably hadn’t faced each other on an NBA court since Christmas 2018.
Injuries, load management and health and safety protocols prevented them from playing in the previous 13 meetings between James’ Lakers and Durant’s Warriors, Nets and Suns.
Up next for the Lakers is a trip up north to face the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.