CHICAGO (AP) — Less than a week after passing Michael Jordan for fourth on the NBA’s career scoring list, LeBron James delivered a memorable night at the arena Jordan first made famous.
James had 36 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame a 20-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls 123-107 on Tuesday night and end a five-game losing streak.
James played 33 minutes and showed no signs of letting up with the Lakers barely hanging on in the playoff race. He took over after the Lakers’ 14-point lead was cut to four with 8:38 left, making a jumper and then on the next possession going through the lane for a thunderous dunk.
James didn’t stop there, hitting a three-pointer over seven-footer Robin Lopez and capping it off when Josh Hart passed the ball off the backboard to James, who finished with a reverse dunk to put the Lakers up 115-101 with five minutes remaining.
James was asked if he had any special thoughts returning to the United Center.
“Not really, but I definitely recognise the greatness Mike had in this city,” James said. “Pretty much every time I play here I look up at the rafters, look up at the jersey retired and then when the starting lineups come up, when I was a kid watching that starting lineup watching the Bulls run through the city and Jordan’s name and number getting called, I always have that feeling.”
It was James’ highest-scoring game since December 18 last year.
Kyle Kuzma added 21 points after missing two games with an ankle injury. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 24 points off the bench for the Lakers, who outscored the Bulls 43-24 in the third quarter.
Lopez had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Otto Porter Jr finished with 19 for the Bulls.
With Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram ruled out for the season, James put on a show at United Center like he did so many times as a member of the Cavaliers and Heat.