One-eyed LeBron James sinks two-handed winning three-pointer
LeBron James suffered from blurred vision after he was poked in one eye by Draymond Green in the latter stages of the Los Angeles Lakers' play-in match against the Golden State Warriors.
But the four-time league MVP showed he is better with one eye than most players in the NBA are with two, as he sank a 34-foot three-pointer with less than a minute left to help the Lakers win 103-100 and reach the Western Conference play-offs.
The comeback victory yesterday morning (Singapore time) gives the Lakers the seventh seed and a first-round series with the second-seeded Phoenix Suns, starting on Monday morning.
Moments before the desperate heave from well beyond the three-point line, James had been fouled hard by Green while he drove to the basket.
"After Draymond fingered me in the eye, I was literally seeing three rims. I just shot for the middle one," said the 36-year-old, who had a triple-double of 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
James and Green collided with just over two minutes left and the Warriors ahead 98-97.
The officials reviewed the play to see if it warranted a flagrant foul but, after viewing the video, decided to go with a lesser penalty. James, still smarting from the poke, made one of the two free-throws to tie it at 98-98.
James joked later that he would have a pirate patch on his eye after the game.
Instead, like a swashbuckling buccaneer, he stole a victory right out from under the noses of the Warriors.
"I have been poked in the eye before so I just tried to keep my composure," said James, whose game-winning treble came over the top of Warriors' star Stephen Curry, with the shot clock expiring.
It was a tale of two halves for the Lakers, who were down 28-22 after the first quarter and by 13 at half-time, 55-42.
They turned the tables in the second half, outscoring the Warriors 35-24 in the third quarter and then made better plays down the stretch in the fourth.
Curry poured in a game-high 37 points for the Warriors, who will get another chance to enter the main play-off draw, but they must now beat the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow morning. - AFP