Lakers Notes: LeBron, Westbrook, Vogel

It’s been mostly a basketball disaster of a season for the Lakers, but LeBron James is at least giving home fans something to cheer about in their own arena.LeBron James

James, 37, followed a 56-point outburst in LA on Saturday to beat the Warriors with 50 points on Friday to beat the Wizards. Both games were in LA.

“He’s really good at basketball, that LeBron James,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “I think what stands out to me is the league has never seen a player at his stage of his career do what he’s doing. Just an incredible, unbelievable, epic performance.”

This marks the first time since 2009 that James has erupted for 50-plus games in the same season, and the first time while with the Lakers. (He played for the Cavaliers in ’09.)

“Once he got going, it was really hard to stop anything he was doing,” James said.

More out of LA

  • In case you missed it, ESPN insider Brian Windhorst said that the Lakers must trade Russell Westbrook this offseason, indicating they should do so by any means necessary. Or as Windhorst put it, in exchange for “any three breathing players.”
  • Vogel pulled Westbrook at the 8:37 mark of the fourth quarter Friday and kept him on the bench. The Lakers acquired Westbrook from the Wizards in a multiteam deal last offseason, and this game marked the returns of former Lakers Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
  • Vogel indicated he may start using James as center more often, especially during the absence of the injured Anthony Davis. “Maybe after all these years, him playing center was really the best way to utilize him,” Vogel said. “Because that’s where he’s been doing it, by playing the center position with [Anthony Davis] out. Doing whatever the team needs to win games. And just an incredible, unbelievable, epic performance by LJ.”

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