• Los Angeles rookie Lakers take 2-0 lead in NBA finals series • The opener was the first time James played Celtics for four years
LeBron James returned to the Staples Center for the first time since joining the Los Angeles Lakers and scored 26 points and added seven assists in a 117-102 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA finals series.
First scene of LeBron James taking the Lakers: to their new home Read more
James, who made the move to LA from Cleveland in the off-season, hit an early three-pointer and added eight assists and seven rebounds in his return to the LA home of the Lakers.
James’s exit four years ago from the team where he played his whole career was a bitter pill for the city of Los Angeles to swallow. The 33-year-old Heat veteran, was booed when he got on the court and every time he touched the ball. But there were no boos on Tuesday night.
Lakers’ Lonzo Ball has shot an astounding 81% from three-point range in two playoff games. Why? Read more
“It’s almost like I don’t feel like I should have left,” James said. “I grew up here. I’ve called this city home. I’ve had some of my best times with these fans.”
James has embraced the team’s new era and is expected to lead the Lakers to their first championship since 2002 this season.
Boston may have lost in LA, but the defending champion Golden State Warriors are still winless this season, as are the Houston Rockets. “We know that Golden State and Houston, they have both struggled [to start the season], so we know we can do something special,” Boston’s Gordon Hayward said.
“We can’t look at it as we lost a game. We got to come back and take care of business and try to take it to them.”
Hayward added 16 points and Terry Rozier chipped in 17 to lead the Celtics, who dropped their first game of the season despite leading early in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics scored the final six points of the first half and went into the break with a 56-48 lead, but the Lakers went on a 15-2 run early in the third quarter to go up 83-76.
Lonzo Ball added 18 points and 10 assists for the Lakers, who took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
James hit two clutch baskets late in the game to help seal the win for the Lakers, who closed out the game on a 14-0 run.
“I don’t care about rings,” James said. “You know, you look at it, it’s an accomplishment. I’ve had six, I’ve won six. I’m a different guy, but I’m 32. I know what’s ahead of me.”