DENVER — The Los Angeles Lakers increased their stranglehold on the Western Conference’s No. 1 spot with an impressive road win against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, but LeBron James claims seeding isn’t a topic of conversation for L.A.
“We don’t talk about it,” James said after the Lakers’ 120-116 overtime win gave L.A. a four-game lead over the Nuggets heading into the All-Star break. “For us, we would love to play in front of our home fans as much as we can. We love being there with our Laker faithful.
“But at the end of the day, you go out and play each and every game like it’s its own game. You can’t worry about what could happen the following day. You can only look at the present, like we did tonight.”
Maybe James didn’t need to say anything to let his team know the significance of Wednesday’s game. Several of his teammates noted his serious tone in the pregame locker room as he suited up 80 minutes before tipoff — far earlier than usual — to show his level of preparedness.
James went on to lead L.A. with 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds to notch his 12th triple-double of the season and keep pace with Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks for the league lead. It was James’ 20th triple-double since he joined the Lakers, making him just the fourth player in team history to record that many, joining Magic Johnson, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.