NBA

LeBron dreaming of Lakers championship as chemistry continues to grow

By Sports Desk April 02, 2023

LeBron James says the Los Angeles Lakers are still dreaming about winning a championship this season after boosting their playoff hopes with a third straight win on Sunday.

The Lakers downed the Houston Rockets 134-109 to improve their record to 40-38 with four games to go, sitting seventh in the Western Conference behind the Los Angeles Clippers (41-38) and Golden State Warriors (41-38) who both lost over the weekend.

LA are ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans (40-38) holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, with the top six automatically qualifying for the playoffs, while seventh to 10th enter the play-in tournament.

Following a series of trades in February including the additions of D'Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura and Malik Beasley with Russell Westbrook departing, the Lakers have stormed into playoff contention, winning 10 of their past 14 games.

"We just want to put ourselves in the position to compete for a championship," James told reporters.

"It’s a journey and obviously we don’t have as much chemistry as a lot of other teams that have aspirations to win a championship, but we’ve been building over the last month or so.

"These last four games are very important for our team, not only wins and losses but also the chemistry side as well.

"We need to continue to build what we’ve been building over the last month or so. We'll see what happens."

James had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to match Jason Kidd for 107 career triple-doubles, which is fourth overall in NBA history.

Anthony Davis played a key role with 40 points, including 27 in the first half, with James saying his All-Star team-mate was "making magic right now".

Russell only played 15 minutes for six points, not returning after half-time due to left foot soreness but Lakers head coach Darvin Ham downplayed any major issue.

"It was definitely precautionary," Ham said. "He could have continued the game if we needed him to. The bodies we have available to us now, we just didn’t want to risk it."

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