NBA Analyst Pin Points a Pattern Of Lakers’ LeBron James Choking In The Fourth Quarter

Published 01/22/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Jan 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) defends Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers matchup was probably the most shocking matchup of the league till now. This wasn’t just because the reigning champions lost but also because of the way they lost. Unfortunately, the blame always falls on the man on the front lines, and LeBron James is taking the hit for this unprecedented setback.

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Who helped the Warriors overcome the deficit?

By the first two quarters, it looked like the Warriors were done for the night. However, they went from trailing by 19 points in the first quarter to having an 11 point lead in the fourth. The purple and gold had choked.

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A slow night for Anthony Davis and LeBron James who only put up 17 and 19 points, respectively, and Stephen Curry and Kelly Oubre Jr. coming up big was the recipe for Lakers’ demise.

Stephen Curry ended the night with 26 points and 7 assists, while Oubre clocked in 23 points in a game-changing effort.

It seems like the Warriors are forming a habit of making historic comebacks against LA teams. On January 8, they were trailing by 22 points against the Clippers in the third quarter. However, they rallied back and ended up with a 115-105 win.

Jan 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) tries to knock the ball away from Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Why is LeBron James taking the hit?

Even though it was Bron’s three-pointer early in the fourth quarter that kept them ahead by 97-83, he missed a very crucial shot in the end that could have gotten them the victory. With seconds left on the clock, he missed the buzzer-beater three-pointer which led to the 115-113 final score.

Interestingly, Skip Bayless thinks that this is a pattern with LeBron. In fact, it is a pattern that his fans repeatedly ignore. On Undisputed, he claimed, “LeBron’s 4th quarters in his last 7 games are the best kept secret in basketball because I don’t hear a peep about this trend. The blind witnesses have buried these numbers. And I still hear LeBron’s name in the early-MVP race.”

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The Warriors had actually gotten their first lead of the night with under 3 mins left in the game, thanks to Draymond Green‘s layup. And they still managed to stretch that lead towards the end.

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It seems like it was just an unlucky night for the Lakers. Do you think James comes up short during clutch moments of a game? Sound off in the comments section.

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Yashima Bhatia

1215 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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