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LeBron James’ big night carries Lakers past Clippers in overtime as James Harden trade is made official

By Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) — LeBron James’ list of memorable moments throughout his NBA career has become exhaustive. And on Wednesday night, he added yet another to the highlight reel.

James had 35 points, 12 rebounds and seven assistss and was the catalyst for a Lakers comeback as they overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Clippers 130-125 in overtime in the all-Los Angeles affair.

Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell both scored 27 points apiece, but it was James who was the figurehead for the Purple and Gold, as he’s so often been in the past.

For the shorthanded Lakers – missing five key contributors through injury – James filled out the box score as his squad ended its 11-game losing streak against the Clippers.

The exclamation point of the impressive performance came in overtime when James emphatically converted an alley-oop from Austin Reeves to effectively seal the victory.

The moment elicited a big reaction from the next wave of basketball stars, including James’ son Bronny, but after the victory, James said he’s just happy he’s “able to go get ‘em.”

“At this point in my career, [Reeves] trusts me to go get it, so I just wanted to go up there and I understand how much of a momentum play those are, especially coming off a turnover, we get a good fast break,” James told reporters afterwards.

“And obviously, Magic [Johnson], Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] and those guys created ‘Showtime’ and things of that nature, so you just want to try and keep that going. These fans love the fast break here to finish it with an alley-oop at that point in time and have us go up by five, have them call a time out, crowd keeps going … big time momentum play for us and happy to be on the side where they are.”

It was the Clippers who started fastest on the night though, with their duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leading the way. Leonard ended the game with 38 points, six rebounds and five assists while George added 35 points and six rebounds.

James wowed the crowd midway through the second quarter when he lost his shoe in the middle of a play, managed to put it on and then run all the way up court to dunk the ball.

In an encounter in which the Clippers had led for the majority of play, James took over late in the day.

The 38-year-old scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, playing nearly the entire period, a remarkable achievement for the oldest player in the league.

However, George responded with eight points in the last 57 seconds to send the game into overtime.

But in the additional five minutes, Reaves scored seven of his 15 on the night as the Lakers were able to grab an important victory.

For the Clippers, it was the second loss of their season as they played without their new acquisition, James Harden, whose trade from the Philadelphia 76ers was officially announced earlier on Wednesday.

The 2018 MVP will be reunited with Russell Westbrook – who he played with at the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets – and will provide some additional firepower for a Clippers team aiming for a title charge.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

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