During the Lakers’ final regualtion possession of their 139-130 loss to the Rockets, LeBron James had a chance to win on a decisive drive, but instead of forcing a shot at the rim, he kicked it out to Carmelo Anthony for a potential game-winner.
Instead, Melo’s long midrange jumper missed. Bron said he preferred Anthony’s shot because it was a better shot postgame.
“I could have forced a reverse layup, but I wasn’t in a position to feel like I could’ve gotten a great look,” explained James. “I could’ve gotten a decent look. And I feel like Melo’s look was a lot better than mine. So it’s literally that simple.”
Breaking down the play, the King decided to give up the game-winner because the Rockets collapsed around him. Still, Anthony was wide open on the wing, and upon receiving James’ pass, Melo’s shot attempt, a pull-up jumper after pump-faking his defender out of his way missed the mark. Even though the game didn’t end the way the Lakers wanted, you have to live with the decision the four-time MVP made.
The decision so late in the game has become synonymous with James’ game. And a reason that so many detractors say he isn’t the GOAT. However, James has hit seven career buzzer-beaters, five of them in the playoffs, the most all-time. He has also hit 97 go-ahead/game-tying shots in the final minute of games, the second-most in NBA history behind only Kobe Bryant.
James, Anthony, and the Lakers look to redeem against the Wizards on Thursday.