ESPN, LeBron James says Lakers 'can't worry' about playoff seeding, Dave McMenamin, Feb. 13, 2020.
Maybe James didn't need to say anything to let his team know the significance of Wednesday's game. Several of his teammates noted his serious tone in the pregame locker room as he suited up 80 minutes before tipoff -- far earlier than usual -- to show his level of preparedness. James went on to lead L.A. with 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds to notch his 12th triple-double of the season and keep pace with Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks for the league lead. It was James' 20th triple-double since he joined the Lakers, making him just the fourth player in team history to record that many, joining Magic Johnson, Elgin Baylor and Kobe Bryant, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
- Davis had one of his best games as a Laker on Wednesday, single-handedly outscoring the Nuggets 7-5 in overtime en route to a final line of 33 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
- He said the Lakers reclaimed their edge before the layoff, and they did so in what several players described in the postgame locker room as a "playoff atmosphere."
- The Lakers are 10-5 against teams with better than .500 records, including 2-1 against the Nuggets, with both wins coming at the Pepsi Center and the loss occurring in a game James sat out.
NBA, James' triple double, Davis lead Lakers past Nuggets 120-116, Arnie Stapleton, Feb. 13, 2020.
LeBron James wasn't about to coast into the All-Star break, and neither was Anthony Davis. ''I could tell they were locked in pregame. LeBron had his jersey with like 80 minutes to go before the game,'' guard Alex Caruso said after the Los Angeles Lakers' 120-116 overtime triumph in Denver on Wednesday night.
- James posted his 12th triple-double of the season, tied with Luka Doncic for the NBA lead, and Davis scored seven of his 33 points in overtime as the Western Conference leaders took a 41-12 record and a four-game lead over second-place Denver into the All-Star break.
- The Nuggets were the hottest team in the league, having won six of seven, including short-handed stunners at Milwaukee and Utah.
- So, James, who had 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, saw this as playoff prep.
''Every opportunity we get to play in a close game against a tough opponent, it's a learning experience for all of us,'' he said. ''It prepares us for a postseason game where it's going to be back and forth, back and forth. I thought tonight was a playoff atmosphere for both teams, being No. 1 and No. 2 in the Western Conference, jockeying for position. We were just trying to make plays whatever it takes. And A.D. was there knocking down big 3s and getting a block and getting some stops, the jump ball, as well. It was big time.''
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