“Definitely felt like a kid again,” said James.
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LeBron James knows how to celebrate in style, scoring a season-high 47 points as he inspired the Los Angeles Lakers to a 130-121 win over the Atlanta Hawks on his 38th birthday.
James helped his team come back from 15 points down at the State Farm Arena and ended the game with 10 rebounds and nine assists.
“I feel better than 18,” James told reporters. “At 18 years old I knew how to play the game, I knew I belonged in the NBA but I didn’t know what I could become. I just knew that [if] I continued to put in the work, continued to be true to the game that I could be one of the greatest players to ever play this game, I just always believed that, so there are times when I’m on the floor when I feel like a kid again … I wouldn’t say 18 but I definitely felt like a kid again at moments out on the court.”
According to Reuters, only two other players have scored more points in a game after turning 38, with Michael Jordan and Jamal Crawford netting 51 points each.
“Just awesome man, he’s put the team on his back and been doing what he’s done for the last 20 years. A hell of a performance,” coach Darvin Ham told reporters when asked about James.
“Dropping 47 [points] is inspiring because he plays the game the right way… He motivates and inspires the team to go out there and do their jobs.”
Lakers’ Thomas Bryant finished with 19 points, including a season-high 17 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook got 14 points and Dennis Schroder 12 points.