Houston Rockets forward Dillon Brooks has talked plenty of trash to LeBron James dating back to last season’s NBA Playoffs.
But on Sunday, James once again got the better of Brooks, scoring 37 points to go along with eight assists in a 105-104 Los Angeles Lakers win.
Afterward, Lakers forward Rui Hachimura took the time to take a little dig at Brooks.
Rui Hachimura on what could be Dillon Brooks’ motivation to continuing to poke the bear in LeBron James: “He wants to be a part of his legacy, I guess”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 20, 2023
During the first round of the 2023 playoffs, Brooks, who was then with the Memphis Grizzlies, called James “old” while saying he poked bears. He then struck the league’s all-time leading scorer in the groin in Game 3, which led to him getting ejected. Before Sunday’s game, Brooks doubled down on that comment.
The forward played well against the Lakers this time around, going 6-of-11 from 3-point distance and leading the Rockets in scoring with 24 points. He has never been an excellent 3-point shooter, but so far this season, he’s shooting a very high percentage from downtown (51.2 percent).
At one point in the game, James hit a runner in the paint over Brooks and proceeded to taunt him.
LeBron taunts Dillon Brooks after scoring on him 😂 pic.twitter.com/PyGBVuqyqZ
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) November 20, 2023
Brooks appears to love being a villain, but it has hurt his team at times. He has gotten himself ejected and even suspended multiple times, such as in the 2022 Western Conference semifinals when he committed a flagrant foul on Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II. As a result, Payton suffered a fractured left elbow and wasn’t able to return until the NBA Finals.
James continues to defy conventional medical science at this point in his career. The 38-year-old is averaging 26.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game this season. He’s even shooting an amazing 58.6 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Sunday’s win was the Lakers’ fifth in their last six contests. Perhaps they’re starting to get things together after losing three in a row about two weeks ago, a skid that included a 128-94 rout at the hands of the same Rockets they defeated on Sunday.