勒布朗·詹姆斯(LeBron James)在周一从未睡过的城市小睡,当时NBA宣布洛杉矶湖人队的明星将在他19年的职业生涯中首次停职,并且不得不错过周二对阵纽约尼克斯队的比赛。

“ Rob [Pelinka]给我打电话。我错过了他的电话。“当我检查手机时,这是一个错过的电话,我就像,‘我知道我被停职。’

“I mean, it’s some bulls—. But whatever.”

James more than made up for missed time in Wednesday’s 124-116 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers in his first contest back since sitting out the Knicks game for striking Detroit Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart in the face, drawing blood.

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James scored a season-high 39 points in Indianapolis, including eight of L.A.’s 12 points in the extra session, to help the Lakers erase a 12-point second-half deficit and finish their five-game road trip with a record of 2-3.

Although James gave the Indiana crowd a show — even mimicking Sam Cassell’s nether region dance after nailing a 3 late in regulation, then breaking out an old celebration from his Miami Heat days, “The Silencer,” after knocking down another deep trey in OT — it was a decidedly off-Broadway performance.

他仍然渴望他在麦迪逊广场花园(Madison Square Garden)错过的机会,这是他在西部会议上参加的一次机会。

“I was devastated,” James told ESPN. “It’s my favorite place in the world to play, so I was looking forward to it. But it is what it is.”

Even though the nationally televised Lakers-Knicks game featuring James — still perhaps the most prominent face in the game at age 36 — followed the Pistons game on the schedule, there was no chicanery by the league office to put a thumb on the scale to keep him in. No personal appeal between James and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. No delayed investigation that wouldn’t mete out a punishment until after the Knicks game was played.

“No. No,” James told ESPN. “I had a conversation with whomever from the league calls when you have that. Asked me my side of the story, I gave them my side of the story and then they did what the f— they got to do.”

James detailed that explanation after the win over Indiana.

“There was a boxout on the free throw line. His elbow got kind of high, it got me — if you look, if you watch the film — it got me off balanced a little bit, and his elbow lifted my arm, and I basically tried to swim move, swim down on him, on his arm,” James said. “And when I swung down on his arm, he got off balance and the left side of my hand grazed his face. And I knew right away. So, I knew right away I had caught some part of his head. So, I went over to apologize to him, and obviously, you guys saw what happened after that. But definitely accidental.”

James, who said he has not spoken to Stewart since the incident, said his case was only made stronger in the days since the Lakers-Pistons game, pointing out how Russell Westbrook got a bloody lip from the Knicks’ Quentin Grimes on Tuesday and how James himself was hit in the face by Domantas Sabonis in the Pacers game, requiring a bandage on his eyelid afterward.

“I hate to see that, what escalated after that,” James continued. “I didn’t think it warranted [a suspension]. I thought it warranted an ejection because of what happened after that. Having me, probably, still in the game and the excitement from the fans and what could possibly happen after that, obviously. But a suspension, I didn’t think it was warranted. But the league made that call, and we’re here today.”

詹姆斯做了一个特殊的一天上e, lifting L.A. back to .500 at 10-10, securing the win without Anthony Davis, who was out with flu-like symptoms.

“That’s why he’s the GOAT, man,” said Lakers guard Malik Monk, who had 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench. “I’ve been watching him my whole life. He’s like our [Michael] Jordan in my generation.”

Lakers coach Frank Vogel also marveled at James’ night.

“What LeBron did tonight was just a performance for the ages,” Vogel said. “I know these fans and how much they love their hoops here in Indianapolis. And he put on one hell of a show, and obviously, he gets the game ball.”

The fact that James did it in Indiana, the place where his team lost 136-94 in his first season with the Lakers when the train went off the rails, wasn’t lost on James, either.

That 2018-19 campaign went sideways. This season has looked suspect at times too. But much the way L.A. turned around its trip, James believes there’s improvement ahead for the Lakers.

“The way it started compared to the way it ended,” James told ESPN, looking back at the trip. “To come here, this is always a tough building for us to play. It’s always been a tough building for me to play in, my whole career, and obviously, you know Rick Carlisle’s team is going to be always well-coached.

“因此,要赢得胜利,这真是一个很好的旅行。尽管这次旅行发生了一切,但回到感恩节是一种很好的感觉。食物的味道会好一点。”

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