LeBron salutes 43-point outing: Sometimes 'you do have to remind people'

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

LeBron James celebrated his first outing as a 37-year-old in style on Friday with a season-high 43 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' 139-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

James went 16-for-26 from the field and 5-of-10 from deep to pair with 14 boards, four assists, two steals, and two blocks in just 29 minutes of play. The four-time MVP became the oldest player since Michael Jordan in 2003 to record 40+ points and 10+ rebounds in a game.

For James, the stellar performance served as a reminder of what it's taken him to get to this point in a celebrated 19-year career.

"Sometimes you do have to remind people that you can still do what you do at a high level, and I've just been blessed, very blessed, and continue to put the work in," James told ESPN's Dave McMenamin postgame.

"Because that's what it all boils down to. It boils down to putting the work in, and everything else will take care of itself."

James also became the oldest player with 40 or more points in under 30 minutes and the oldest to have at least 40 points and 14 rebounds, according to ESPN Stats & Info. It was also the second time in his career that he scored 40 points without recording a single turnover.

"I literally try to prepare my mind and my body and my soul on how I can stay young in a young man's game," James said one night after celebrating his 37th birthday at home with family.

The four-time NBA champion now has 30 or more points in seven successive outings - his longest such run since 2013 - and is averaging 36 points per game during that spell on 58% shooting. James is also posting 11 rebounds and 6.1 assists over that span, joining Jordan, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor as the only players in NBA history to do so over a seven-game stretch.

"I'm not a guy that just goes out and just sees if I can jack a bunch of shots," James said. "I want to be efficient every single night or anytime I'm playing. So as long as the streak I've been on, as far as my scoring, I've been extremely efficient as well. I take way more pride in that than the scoring. That's just who I am as a basketball player."

James will get another chance to extend his brilliant run of form when the 18-19 Lakers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

LeBron salutes 43-point outing: Sometimes 'you do have to remind people'
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox