Tuesday was a special night across the NBA and the sports world in general, as LeBron James broke the league's all-time scoring record, which had been held by fellow Los Angeles Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar since 1984.
He surpassed Abdul-Jabbar toward the end of the third quarter on a fadeaway jumper, and the game was stopped for several minutes as both Abdul-Jabbar and NBA commissioner Adam Silver commemorated James for the accomplishment.
However, the main focus, even for James himself, has been on the team, and the team once again put forth a disappointing performance, this time against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Its defensive woes continued, as it surrendered 76 points by halftime and couldn't do much to put up resistance against a young Thunder squad, which got past the Lakers 133-130.
LeBron James: A
This was James' night, as he not only broke the scoring record but also put up 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
It took him a little while to get going early on, but he started to heat up in the second quarter, and when he had 20 points at halftime, there was an air of inevitability at Crypto.com Arena about Abdul-Jabbar's record falling that night.
James was emotional right after breaking the mark, and he was surely relieved to put this behind him.
Anthony Davis: C
Davis had a very quiet night, getting up only nine shot attempts and making six of them to score 13 points in 31 minutes.
It was somewhat understandable that Davis didn't score a lot of points, as the focus was on getting James the ball so he could break the record. However, Davis should've been a lot more aggressive offensively, and his teammates should've been more intent on getting him the ball, something they usually do a fine job of.
The big man did also have eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot, but it was a rare night in which his impact wasn't felt.
Rui Hachimura: B
Hachimura, once again, wasn't involved a lot in the Lakers' offense in the first half. But later on, especially after James claimed the scoring record, the team looked to get him the ball a little more, and he got a little more aggressive.
In 26 minutes he went 5-of-7 while hitting his only 3-point attempt, and he finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
Patrick Beverley: B-
All three of Beverley's shot attempts were 3-pointers, and he made two of them, giving him seven points, plus five assists, in 24 minutes.
But his defense wasn't too effective, as Oklahoma City's guards went off. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 30 points on 9-of-17 shooting while backcourt mate Josh Giddey put up 20 points on 10-of-19 from the field.
Dennis Schroder: B-
Defensively, there were a few possessions during which he was matched up against Gilgeous-Alexander, and he did a good job on the Thunder star by not allowing dribble penetration and forcing him to give up the ball multiple times.
Troy Brown Jr.: B
Brown shot well and made a contribution, going 4-of-6 overall and 1-of-2 from downtown. He finished with nine points and six rebounds in 22 minutes.
Thomas Bryant: B
Bryant seems to have adjusted to his diminished role nicely. He had five rebounds, four points, one assist and one block in 17 minutes.
Russell Westbrook: B
Statistically, Westbrook had a nice night with 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-7 from downtown, eight assist, two steals and a spectacular block on Jaylin Williams. Unfortunately, it was somewhat misleading.
He committed six turnovers, and two of them were on fast-break passes downcourt that were absolutely and uncharacteristically off the mark. He also missed numerous layups, something which hurt the Lakers' efforts to come back from a double-digit deficit.
Lonnie Walker IV: B
Like Bryant, Walker now has a diminished role coming off the bench. He helped the Lakers' cause by scoring eight points in 19 minutes, and he helped stretch the floor by hitting two of his five 3-point attempts.
Austin Reaves: Incomplete
Reaves made his return to game action after being out for about a month with a hamstring injury. He played just seven minutes, and it was clear that he was out of rhythm and shape, as he came up short on a wide-open 3-pointer and went scoreless.
Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire
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