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LeBron James drops 40 points with career best 3-point shooting performance to lead Lakers past Nets %2FYXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyMDA7aD04MDA %2Fhttps%3A%2F%2Fs.yimg


LeBron James drops 40 points with career best 3-point shooting performance to lead Lakers past Nets

LeBron James nearly set a new benchmark on Sunday night at the Barclays Center.

James, while leading the Los Angeles Lakers past the Brooklyn Nets 116-104, dropped 40 points and went a near-perfect 9-of-10 from behind the arc. His 40 points matched his highest output so far this season, and his nine made 3-pointers matched his all-time personal best.

While it didn’t break his record, it was significantly more efficient than it was the first time he pulled off the feat. That time — last season against the Los Angeles Clippers — James went 9-of-14 from behind the arc.

James is now just the second Lakers player in franchise history to make nine 3-pointers in a game multiple times, which is something Kobe Bryant did four times in his career. James, though, is the first player to hit the nine 3-pointers while shooting 90% from that range.

In total, James shot 13-of-17 from the field and had seven rebounds and five assists to go with his 40 points.

The Lakers took the lead from the jump on Sunday, and they led the entire way. They actually opened the game on a long 17-0 run and held the Nets scoreless for more than half of the first quarter before taking a 21-point lead after the first 12 minutes. From there, it was smooth sailing to the 12-point win.

James, who is in his 21st season in the league, then hinted at the end of his career after the game.

“Not very long,” James said when asked how much longer he would play. “I’m on the other side obviously of the heel. I’m not going to play another 21 years, that’s for damn sure. Not very long. I don’t know when that door will close as far as when I retire, but I don’t have much time left.”

Anthony Davis added 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers while shooting 9-of-12 from the field, and Rui Hachimura finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. All five Lakers starters scored in double figures, and Gabe Vincent’s lone field goal accounted for their only bench points of the night.

Cam Thomas led the Nets with 30 points in the loss, and Mikal Bridges finished with 13 points and four assists after shooting just 3-of-11 from behind the arc. The loss, which snapped a three-game winning streak, dropped the Nets to 29-46 on the season. They sit in 11th in the Eastern Conference standings, 5.5 games back from the Atlanta Hawks in the final playoff spot. Every team below the Nets in the standings has already been eliminated from playoff contention.

James and the Lakers now hold a 42-33 record after the win, which has them ninth in the Western Conference standings. They hold a two-game lead over the Golden State Warriors in the standings with seven games left in the regular season.

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