LeBron James and Russell Westbrook’s relationship has been a source of speculation since midway through last season — particularly during NBA Summer League. On Saturday, however, during the Los Angeles Lakers’ fourth win in five games — a defenseless 143-138 victory over the San Antonio Spurs (L.A.’s third win this week over S.A.) — the four-time MVP had the one-time MVP’s back.

With two minutes to go in the third quarter, Spurs big Zach Collins garnered a flagrant-2 foul for a harsh swipe down on Westbr0ok’s second-chance opportunity under the rim. Collins collided with Westbrook’s forehead, causing the guard to pour blood. A steaming Westbrook charged at Collins, only to be held back by LeBron, who immediately placed a towel on Westbrook’s head as he ushered Russ toward the Lakers’ bench. (Russ was able to stay in the game after being taped up in the locker room. He did get a T, which he said he was “confused” by.)

“It was a tough blow, but I didn’t want to let Russ escalate it any further,” LeBron James said. “Especially with him bleeding like that, I didn’t want to hit Russ or anything after that contact. So, just try to step in there and try to defuse it as much as possible.”

James said it was simply “common sense” to put pressure on Russ’ forehead after he saw where the cut was located.

LeBron James’ rapid medical attention to Russ comes days after Patrick Beverley earned a three-game suspension for shoving Deandre Ayton in defense of Austin Reaves. Multiple Lakers professed their support for Beverley, who has spoken about bringing a degree of grit to the Lakers that didn’t exist in 2021-22.

“Before we became teammates, we’ve always been like brothers and cool and things of that nature,” LeBron said about Russ. “His health is more important than the game of basketball. So just tried to stop that and let the training staff do their job after we got him over to the bench.

“I actually saw the cut right when it happened … and wanted to uh…wanted to do something to Zach.”

“Initial reaction, obviously, is to hop up and kind of see what’s going on,” Westbrook recalled. “But once I’m bleeding all over the place I was able to calm down and take care of that, and I moved forward.”

LeBron and Russ’ newfound chemistry manifested in the skies, as well, as they connected on a double alley-oop before halftime.

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“Russ being an elite passer on this team, an elite passer in this game for quite a while, figured I’d just keep trailing to see if he would throw it back up and he did, and I was able to reward that,” said LeBron.

“Bron is well known as always trailing,” Westbrook added. “So, just me knowing that and being able to make that read and put the pass where he would be able to finish.”

“That’s what togetherness looks like,” said Darvin Ham. “Being there for your teammate. Russ takes a shot to the head and you don’t want to escalate the situation. You want to try to calm him down. You got a guy with blood all over his face who is understandably upset and just having Bron there, it shows a brotherhood. We need that type of image, that action, that belief in one another. We need that to represent us as a team and as a franchise.”

Beyond his EMT skills, LeBron James defibrillated the Lakers via his liveliest scoring performance of the season while Anthony Davis — who carried the Lakers over the two weeks LeBron missed with a groin injury — sat out with a calf contusion. James posted a season-high 39 points (11-of-21 shooting, 7-of-11 from deep, 10-of-10 from the free throw line) and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes.