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Why LeBron James can still be the NBA’s best player on any given night – FOX Sports


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LeBron James has still got it.

James closed out the Los Angeles Lakers‘ final regular-season “road” game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com arena with a 19-point fourth quarter including five 3-pointers Wednesday to lead a 21-point comeback against the Lakers’ intracity rivals — and, for now, intra-arena rivals until the Clippers move to Inglewood’s Intuit Dome next season. 

His heroic performance not only proved that the struggling Lakers, currently the No. 9 seed in the NBA’s Western Conference, still have life — but that he still has the ability at 39 years old to be the best player on the court on any given night, according to Colin Cowherd and Rachel Nichols.

Nichols joined Cowherd on “The Herd” as the two agreed that while James may be past his incredible prime from his days with the Miami Heat, the current version of him is still among the best in the league.

[LeBron James’ epic show vs. Clippers proves you can’t count out the Lakers]

“He’s not the best consistent player in the league,” Cowherd said, “but there are nights last night where he’s easily the best player on the floor between two really good teams.”

Nichols concurred, pointing out James at his peak can still carry a team to victory against any opponent, even an NBA title-contender like the Clippers.

“Obviously, offensively, hitting all those 3s was teriffic,” Nichols said. “But the fact that he played great defense. He bothered Kawhi [Leonard] on that last shot. And, when they started doubling him and kind of made it impossible for him to get to the basket, he made all the right processes to all the right teammates who he had given a ton of confidence to.  

“It’s like the Toby Keith line, ‘I’m not as good as I once was but I’m as good once as I ever was,’ that’s what LeBron is right now. He can’t be the LeBron of his MVP seasons in Miami every single night for 82 games plus three months of the playoffs, but when he puts it out there, nobody can match in the league what he can do on the nights he is as hot as he [was Thursday].”

Is LeBron still the best player in the NBA?

However, the Lakers will need many more of those peak LeBron nights coming up, as they are three games back of the No. 6-seed New Orleans Pelicans and otherwise seem destined for another trip to the play-in round unless they go on a late-season run.

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