Knicks rookie RJ Barrett reacts to facing Lakers superstar LeBron James for the first time
LOS ANGELES – After the Los Angeles Lakers lost Anthony Davis to a back injury following a scary fall on Tuesday at the Staples Center, three-time NBA champion LeBron James took it upon himself to pick the slack against the New York Knicks. The perennial All-Star was able to do just that and left quite an impression on rookie RJ Barrett who got to see the 35-year-old go to work for the first time up close and personal.
The Knicks didn’t stand much of a chance against the star-studded Lakers on Tuesday with the struggling New York franchise losing by 30. Barrett, who scored a team-high 19 points in the loss to Los Angeles, spoke to the media following the team’s 27th loss of the season and talked about facing James for the first time.
“He’s great,” Barrett said of LeBron. “He’s really vocal; he communicates well with his team. He knows them, and they really listen to him. He’s a leader, so it was good to go up against that caliber of a guy.”
LeBron led the way for the Lakers with a game-high 31 points and matched a season-high in makes from beyond the arc. James went 6-for-12 from the three-point line while also adding five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block to the shat sheet.
The Lakers went on to get their 30th win of the season and keep their tight grip on the top spot in the Western Conference winning their sixth straight game.
As for Barrett, the frustration continues with the Knicks now having lost three games in a row. The former Duke star knew New York was overmatched against a team with championship aspirations.
“When our shots went up, [the Lakers] were getting the rebounds and going in on the other end. They’re a good team. They move and kick it up, so it’s tough.”
LeBron and the red-hot Lakers will now hit the road for two games away from the Staples Center with a back-to-back on the horizon against Luke Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks on Friday night and a Saturday showdown against a better-than-expected Oklahoma City Thunder team led by Chris Paul.