LeBron James is still very, very good at basketball. Despite celebrating his 38th birthday on Friday, James led the Los Angeles Lakers into Atlanta for a matchup with the flailing Hawks and put forth his best performance of the 2022-23 campaign. By the time the game reached its conclusion, Los Angeles picked up a 130-121 win to move to 15-21 on the year, thanks in large part to the singular brilliance of their Hall of Fame forward.
James scored 47 points, his best scoring output this season, on an ultra-efficient 18-for-27 shooting while connecting on four of his six attempts from behind the three-point line. He reeled in 10 rebounds, and narrowly missed out on his first triple-double of the year by doling out nine assists. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the performance made James the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 45 points at age 38 or older.
LeBron James wasted no time becoming the 4th player in NBA history with a 45-point game at age 38 or older.
He joins Michael Jordan (3x), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jamal Crawford. pic.twitter.com/n93kJ8U0OE
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 31, 2022
Immediately after the game ended, Kevin Durant took to Twitter to praise James’ effort.
Masterful 47 I just watched, Lebron James. Masterful…GGz
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) December 31, 2022
The win for L.A. came with Anthony Davis on the sideline, as James’ All-Star running mate is expected to be sidelined for at least the next few weeks due to a stress injury in his foot. Next up for James and the Lakers is a trip to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Jan. 2.