Skip Bayless lets out huge LeBron James praise after game-winning free throws vs. Warriors

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Skip Bayless is known for his critical remarks against LeBron James, but he has offered some positive comments on the Los Angeles Lakers superstar from time to time.

For instance, he praised James for aggressively going to the hole late in the Lakers’ double-overtime thriller versus the Golden State Warriors and sinking his free throws after drawing a foul.

Bayless is often one of the first sports personalities to blast the four-time MVP whenever he opts to pass in clutch situations, accusing him of being scared of going to the line where he shoots 73.5 percent for his career. However, on Saturday, there was no fooling around for James.

The Warriors were able to go up 144-143 with 4.7 seconds remaining in the second overtime after Stephen Curry hit a wide-open 3-point shot. All eyes were on James on the next possession to see how he would respond to his rival’s potential game-winner.

Even after having played 48 minutes at that point, the 39-year-old star appeared to show no signs of fatigue as he drove hard to the rim and drew a foul on Draymond Green. He calmly made both attempts from the charity stripe to give the Purple and Gold the hard-fought victory.

James, who is set to appear in his 20th All-Star Game in February, finished with an impressive stat line, collecting 36 points (on 14-for-25 shooting), 20 rebounds (a career-high) and 12 assists. He became the first Lakers player to record a 30-20-10 game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it in the 1975-76 season against, incidentally, the Warriors.

It was a legendary battle between James and Curry, who scored 15 of his 46 points in overtime. The pair have figured in plenty of clashes in the past, particularly in the Finals when the former No. 1 overall pick still suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Fortunately for fans, it was only the first of four meetings this regular season for the future Hall of Famers.

But likely more importantly for the Lakers, the victory allowed them to stay in the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference with a 24-23 record. They also started their current six-game road trip on a strong note. The squad will face off against the Houston Rockets on Monday before matching up against Eastern Conference opponents to cap off the road trip.

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