38 years old, 47 points and victory: LeBron James, offers himself a royal birthday with the Lakers against the Hawks in the NBA


He is not one to miss such an opportunity. The confirmation was brutal, for the Atlanta Hawks. LeBron James celebrated his 38th birthday on the court this Friday, and he did it with gusto. 47 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists (against 5 stray bullets), all with efficiency (18/27 shooting, including a nice 4/6 from afar) and especially with victory at the end. The Los Angeles Lakers thus imposed themselves on the move (120-131), carried by their « King ».

James gave the crowd the usual angry celebrations. He demonstrated just how dominant a player he could still be, in his twentieth season in the Big League. This was needed to overcome Hawks whose back line was productive (29 points from Trae Young, 20 from Dejounte Murray). Russell Westbrook put 14 points and delivered 11 assists (+11 +/-) off the bench.

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The Lakers are only 13th in the Western Conference despite this flashy success, at least with regard to their star. Their record is 15 wins against 21 losses, while the threshold of the play-in is, on this December 31, at equilibrium (Jazz 10th, in 19-19). On the Atlanta side, it’s a bit better: 9th in the East (17-19).

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Night (and rain) of boxes…

In the other meetings of the evening – or even of the night, jet lag obliges – notable individual performances abounded. Giannis Antetokounmpo was gargantuan (43 points, 20 rebounds) during the success of the Bucks at home against Wolves (123-114), the Pelicans dominated the Sixers 127-116, with a super CJ McCollum (42 points, 13 / 20), while Chicago got the better of Detroit (132-118), in the wake of a boiling Zach Lavine (43 points at 15/20).

Will you take a 40 point outing? The last of this meeting salvo is the work of Jordan Poole (41 units), for Warriors deprived of Stephen Curry but still in verve at home. Golden State (16 wins-2 losses in his room) signed a great fourth quarter (30-16) to beat Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers (34 points): 118-112.

Toronto got the better of Phoenix (113-104), Denver was able to count on a triple-double Nikola Jokic (19 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists) to resist Tyler Herro’s Heat (26 pawns), and win 124- 119. As for the Kings, still in the running to finally find the playoffs (it would be a first since… 2005/06), they were the winners of this Friday’s thriller: 126-125 against Utah.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – NBA 2022-23

Credit: Getty Images

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