LeBron James delivered his first signature moment (of what will assuredly be many) as a member of the Lakers on Monday night in Staples Center, tying the game up with the Spurs with just seconds to go to force overtime.
LeBron’s walk-up three seemed to turn the tide on what was otherwise a rocky night for the King (although the stat line was still ridiculous), and he added five more points in overtime as the Lakers pulled ahead to a six-point lead with a minute to go in the extra period. However, much like how L.A. closed an eight-point gap in under 90 seconds to tie it in regulation, the Spurs were able to storm back in overtime to get the 143-142 win and keep the Lakers winless on the season.
James had the chance to, at the least, force the Spurs to go for a three and the tie late when he got sent to the free throw line. LeBron’s free throw shooting has long been spotty, so splitting the pair wouldn’t have been all that shocking. However, he missed both, and DeMar DeRozan was able to haul in the rebound and call timeout to let Gregg Popovich dig into his bag of tricks to draw up a play for the potential game-winner.