NBA regular season

‘King’ James celebrates birthday with milestone in Lakers win

Agence France-Presse

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‘King’ James celebrates birthday with milestone in Lakers win

EMPHATIC. Lakers superstar LeBron James dunks past Spurs defenders during first half action in San Antonio.

Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images/AFP

‘I've been blessed to play the game that I love for 18 years and hopefully I can continue to play at a high level,’ says LeBron James, who turned 36

Los Angeles superstar LeBron James celebrated his 36th birthday Wednesday, December 30 (Thursday, December 31, Philippine time) with another NBA milestone, scoring double-digit points for the 1,000th straight game in the Lakers’ 121-107 victory over the Spurs in San Antonio.

James finished with 26 points to extend his already record streak of double-digit games in the regular season.

He sealed the milestone midway through the 2nd quarter with a turnaround jump hook that gave the Lakers a 46-37 lead.

“I just try to live in the moment and just try to continue to get better with my game, try to get better with my teammates and try to just maximize when I’m on the floor,” said James, who is in his 18th NBA campaign after leading the Lakers to the 2020 title in the league’s quarantine bubble in Orlando.

“I’ve been blessed to play the game that I love for 18 years and hopefully I can continue to play at a high level,” he said.

James’ double-digit scoring streak began on January 6, 2007, when he was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“It’s a tribute to his tenacity level… his commitment to excellence,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game. “He deserves a lot of credit for being the consummate professional. His mental state along with his physical state really makes him really special.”

Shortly after James reached the milestone, Popovich was ejected from the contest for arguing with officials.

Assistant Becky Hammon took over on the Spurs bench, becoming the first woman to direct a team in an NBA game.

Anthony Davis scored 20 points and pulled down 9 rebounds for the Lakers, newcomer Dennis Schroder added 21 points and 4 assists.

Wesley Matthews had his best game since joining the champions, scoring 18 points off the bench as he made all 6 of his three-point attempts.

– Rappler.com

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