Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James delivered an outstanding performance on Monday night to lead his team past the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road. James, who scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, finished the game with 46 points as the Lakers won 115-108 to remain perfect on the road and push their road record up to 10-0.
James, who was drafted by the Cavaliers nearly two decades ago, helped Cleveland win its first NBA title five years ago. "Home cooking," James said afterward on a videoconference with reporters, per ESPN. "It just felt good to be back in my haven, my rest haven, and that's being home."
James was motivated in the fourth quarter
James missed the last shot of the third quarter and reportedly one Cavaliers executive was too excited to see him miss. James took it personally and single-handedly took down the Cavaliers in the final quarter.
"I felt like he was just a little bit too excited about seeing me miss," James said afterward, declining to name Cavaliers basketball chief of staff Jason Hillman when asked who caught his attention. "He was really excited about me missing that shot.
A little bit more extra than I would have liked. But he's got to root for his team, obviously. And he was, he showcased that. "So I knew I had another quarter, and the fourth quarter's my favorite." The Cavaliers provoked James and he responded in the most brutal way.
"Doesn't take much to get Bron going," one Cavs source told ESPN of the brief exchange James had with Hillman, with the four-time MVP shooting an icy stare in Hillman's direction before making his way to the Lakers' bench.
"He was unreal tonight." James, who is 36 years old, became the oldest player with a 40-point performance since the late Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in his final NBA game against the Utah Jazz. "I've just never put a ceiling on my potential," James said.
"I always wanted to continue to get better and better and better to a point where I also now can dictate [what] the defense can do. And the defense can't dictate what I'm supposed to do." Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was thrilled with the way James performed against the Cavaliers.
"The shot-making," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said, "was just ridiculous, and just one of those nights for the ages for him."