LeBron James issued a strong tweet after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors on March 10 at Crypto.com Arena.
James, who is out with a right foot tendon injury, tweeted that he loved his team.
The Lakers improved to 33-34 after beating the Raptors. They have won three in a row and are in ninth place in the Western Conference standings. Los Angeles is 7-3 over its last 10 games.
D’Angelo Russell made his return to the lineup against the Raptors and was on fire. The lefty, who missed six consecutive games with a right ankle sprain, put up 28 points and nine assists while shooting 10-of-17 from the field, 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line.
“I was just flowing honestly,” Russell said after the game. “Obviously this is my first game back and just itching to get back on the floor. So to get back out there and perform and be back out there with those guys, they were playing at a high level, and to be able to contribute to that was just fun. I couldn’t help but smile.”
The Lakers were able to win a game despite James being out and Anthony Davis scoring only eight points. AD attempted just seven shots in 32 minutes, as the Raptors made it a point to double him at every turn.
“I think it’s a huge step in the right direction when a guy who has been putting up the type of numbers he’s been putting up. … Tonight we were able to come away with a win against a very good team with him only, what, eight points?” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said. “That’s a sign of growth and that’s a testament to how deep and talented we are now.”
LeBron James Is Trying to Come Back
The Lakers announced on March 2 that James has a right foot tendon injury and will be re-evaluated in roughly three weeks. The four-time MVP and four-time Finals MVP suffered the injury on February 26 against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.
James is currently in a walking boot, but he’s reportedly doing everything he can to return. On March 10, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on “Get Up” that James is “turning over every stone” to play again.
“From what I am told, LeBron is turning over every stone he possibly can from a treatment perspective to get that foot in position to return at some point this season,” Windhorst said.
The Lakers’ final game of the season is on April 9 versus the Utah Jazz. The top six seeds in the conference automatically make the postseason, while seeds 7-10 make the play-in tournament.
James is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists this season while shooting 50.1% from the floor, 30.8% from 3 and 75.9% from the free-throw line. The Lakers hope that the King can return before the regular season ends, sources told Heavy Sports.
Austin Reaves on D’Angelo Russell: ‘He’s Just Super Talented’
Lakers guard Austin Reaves showered Russell with praise after the Raptors game. Reaves, who scored 18 points versus Toronto, called Russell “super talented.”
“He’s just super talented,” Reaves said about Russell. “The shots he was hitting in the fourth, it was ridiculous. You got only a handful of guys that take those shots in that situation. So shout out to him. Good to have him back. We’re looking to keep it rolling.”
The Lakers’ next game is against the New York Knicks on March 12.