Playoff mode activated? LeBron James leads Lakers' 19-point comeback win to open 2nd half

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/3704/" data-ylk="slk:LeBron James">LeBron James</a> seemed pretty activated on Thursday. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LeBron James seemed pretty activated on Thursday. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

A day after LeBron James proclaimed he was activating his well-known higher intensity level earlier than scheduled, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar backed up his words.

Despite trailing by as many as 19 points in the third quarter on Thursday, James and the Lakers unleashed a furious comeback to put away a newly healthy Houston Rockets team 111-106 and open the post-All-Star break portion of their season with a big win.

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LeBron James and the Lakers’ big comeback win

With seven minutes left in the third quarter, the Lakers trailed 79-60 with James looking on pace for a quiet night by his standards. Nothing looked very activated.

From that moment on, the Lakers uncorked a 23-11 run to close the third quarter, then outscored the Rockets 28-16 in the fourth to notch a win over the team with the fifth-best record in the Western Conference.

As for James, he finished with 29 points, on 11-of-23 shooting, 11 rebounds and six assists. He also unleashed this incredible piece of violence in the third quarter:

James affirmed his belief in his young team after the game.

“We’ve got a fresh start for us, and this is the second half of the season,” James said in a postgame interview with TNT. “The trade deadline is over with. This is our squad. I’m happy with who we’ve got. I love our squad. And I look forward to seeing how we continue to battle for the rest of the season.”

It’s hard to say how sustainable an “activated” LeBron James is when he’s 34 years old and not surrounded by as strong a supporting cast as he’s used to. However, if Thursday is any indication, the ride to the playoffs and beyond figures to be fun.

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