LeBron James fires Cavaliers in double dose of sportsmanship in OT win

The Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James pulled a double dose of sportsmanship as he brought the Los Angeles Lakers to their knees with a three-pointer in the final 10 seconds of overtime. The Lakers then threw in the towel and let the Cavaliers mount a comeback that saw them post a 126-120 win over the now-New-Jersey-based franchise.

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With the score tied at 126 after the Cavaliers had missed four of their final five shots of regulation, James went deep from beyond the arc with 10 seconds remaining and the Lakers fouled him. The three-pointer made it 127-126, but the Cavs’ Tristan Thompson – a former Laker, was called for a foul at the other end. But instead of following Lakers coach Luke Walton’s preferred strategy of sending James to the free-throw line – where he is 38% from this season – he took the ball out of bounds. James hesitated, then let the clock run down, then hit the game-winner.

“It’s the NBA, man, it’s how it goes. I got to take the blame for that. I thought I had him with seven-tenths of a second and then something happened there,” James said. “They knocked the ball out, the refs made a great call.”

Trying to compose himself, James thanked the home crowd for being good sports.

“Whatever you did was well-deserved,” he said. “I told you guys, give it to me all the time. I’ll make it. But to hear you guys cheer me on every night, that’s been pretty awesome.”

The Lakers scored only one basket in overtime – a jumper by Brandon Ingram with 48 seconds left. The Cavaliers rattled off nine points in a row to seal it and gave James his 56th straight game with at least 20 points, the longest such streak since Michael Jordan had a streak of 61 games in 1991-92. James also added eight rebounds and 10 assists.

James’ signature crossover – known by its ad campaign’s cringe-worthy title, “King James” – worked perfectly in this game, too. It appeared he was shooting the ball when the Lakers got the ball. He then dribbled the ball back out toward the sideline, stepped back and drilled the three-pointer.

Andrew Bogut, a former Warrior, and Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 21 points apiece.

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