Anthony Davis Sums Up LeBron James’ Career Night After Lakers Beat Nets

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Brooklyn Nets 116-104, on the strength of LeBron James knocking down nine of 10 looks from beyond the arc. He finished with a game-high 40 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Asked about his teammate’s performance, Anthony Davis ended with a one-word summary.

“It’s always great to watch,” Davis told reporters on March 31. “Most points in NBA history and just continue to add to it. But the way that he shot it tonight, masterful.”

Davis had 24 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks versus the Nets. It was his sixth straight double-double and 59th of the season; third-most in the NBA. Amid arguably his most consistent season, Davis has been overshadowed by James’ ever-growing list of accomplishments.

James answered questions about his improved shooting at this stage of his career.

“I don’t ever have to lean on it,” James said postgame about his improved three-point shooting. “I’m not one of those guys that wanna go out there and shoot 12, 14, 15 threes a game. But I want to be respected and teams have to play me from the outside. I know that’s still kind of one thing that teams still want to be like, ‘Okay, if we have to give up something, we’d much rather him shoot the ball from the outside.’

“Shooting the long ball and also making my free throws. That’s been important for me this season and the last few seasons honestly.”

The win gives the Lakers six victories in their last seven games.

They also kept themselves ahead of the Golden State Warriors, who have won four straight contests and sit just 1.5 games behind the Lakers for ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

The nine threes tied a career-high for James, while his 40 points tied his season-high mark for the second time.

LeBron James Delivers Reality Check on Future After Career Night

This was a bounce-back performance from James. He had just 16 points in the loss to the Indiana Pacers on March 29, and he was just 3-for-11 from downtown over his last four appearances; 0-for-4 in the last two.

James also spoke candidly about his future as he wraps his 21st regular season.

“Not very long [left],” James said. “I’m on the other side of the hill, obviously. I’m not gonna play another 21 years, that’s for damn sure. But not very long. I don’t know when that door will close as far as when I’ll retire. But I don’t have much time left.”

James has been extremely candid about being close to the end of his career, though he has stopped short of calling this his final season.

To the contrary, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes James is “angling” for a long-term contract.

“I don’t think this is LeBron’s last stand, I don’t think this is the Lakers’ last stand,” Windhorst said on “First Take” on February 22. “First off, I think LeBron is angling to sign a multi-year deal in the offseason with the Lakers that will be nine figures, that will be even bigger than the deal he’s on now.”

LeBron James Can Sign 3-Year, $162M Contract With Lakers This Offseason

James has a $51.4 million player option for the second year of his two-year, $99 million contract next season. He has until June 29 to decide if he wants to become a free agent this offseason.

His next contract can be no longer than three years due to the NBA’s over-38 rule.

“Whether or not he’s able to finish that deal, whether or not the Lakers want to give him a three-year contract and pay him $60 million when he’s 42 years old, that’s a different discussion,” Windhorst said.

The Lakers can give James a three-year, $162 million contract, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Dave McMenamin on March 6.

Another team can sign the 20-time All-Star to a three-year, $157 million pact.