Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has been in enough postseason contests to know the value of having a veteran by his side.
That’s probably why he’s so grateful for the emergence of Rajon Rondo in the Lakers’ series versus the Houston Rockets.
James delivered another strong performance in Tuesday night’s Game 3 win over the Rockets with 36 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots. Yet, he pointed out after the game how being able to trust Rondo in clutch situations helped make the 112-102 victory possible.
“[It’s beneficial] when you have enough people you can trust and be in the foxhole with you, not from a basketball aspect, but from a cerebral aspect,” he said. “The postseason is about making adjustments from game to game, and also being able to make adjustments on the fly because things happen in real time. Being able to see how defenses are playing, seeing how the game is being played, seeing how the flow of the game is being played, there’s just not many guys that can do that in our league. In the postseason, it’s gigantic. Having Do’ on your side definitely helps.”
Rondo made major contributions during the game with 21 points and nine assists. He was especially clutch during the crucial fourth quarter.
During a 10-0 run that gave the Lakers the lead for good, Rondo scored eight points on a pair of 3-pointers and a layup. He also recorded a steal and an assist during that game-deciding run.
Rondo had the perspective of a veteran after the game and offered praise for the work of his teammates.
“I just took what was given,” Rondo said. “It started on the defensive end for me. Guys found me when I was open, and I took the shots with confidence. And I got some easy layups.”
James, Rondo and the Lakers now have a 2-1 advantage in the series, with Game 4 set for Thursday night. A win in that contest would give the Lakers a commanding advantage in their quest to reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time in a decade.