Skip Bayless finally gives credit to LeBron James for 4th quarter vs. Suns, but does it in backhanded fashion

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

FOX Sports analyst Skip Bayless gave some rare credit to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James for his fourth-quarter performance in the Lakers’ win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

However, Bayless still managed to share a critique of James as well, in typical Bayless fashion. He criticized the four-time champion’s ability to shoot free throws late in games, stating that the Suns should have fouled him on drives down the stretch.

James played the entire fourth quarter for the Lakers on Thursday, shooting 3-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line to score 10 points in the final period. He also added three rebounds, two assists and a steal in the quarter.

James and Anthony Davis made sure that the Lakers didn’t fall to 0-2 on the season, as Davis also put up a big fourth quarter. The Lakers big man scored 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe in the frame.

Of the Lakers’ 28 points in the fourth, Davis and James combined for 23 of them. That may be a winning recipe for the Lakers, as their two star players need to take over games when the team is trailing.

Despite recent news that James will essentially be on a minutes restriction this season, the former No. 1 overall pick ended up playing 35 minutes in Thursday’s win. It seems like James and head coach Darvin Ham were on the same page in terms of needing the star forward to close out Kevin Durant and the Suns.

Durant had a massive game with Devin Booker and Bradley Beal both out for Phoenix, scoring 39 points on 14-of-28 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. Ultimately, it was not enough for the Suns to get the win.

Bayless has been one of James’ biggest critics for quite some time, so it’s a little surprising to see him give the Lakers superstar some credit for Thursday’s win. James certainly earned it, as the Lakers outscored the Suns 28-11 in the final period.

James and the Lakers will look to keep things rolling on Sunday, Oct. 29 when they hit the road to take on the Sacramento Kings. That game is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. PST.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.