Los Angeles Lakers superstar Lebron James just turned 39. Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is turning 36.
The ageless superstars continue to defy Father Time delivering the most riveting duel yet in their storied careers with James canning the game-winning free throws to answer Curry’s go-ahead 3-pointer.
James said playing against Curry keeps him young after his Lakers outlasted the Warriors 145-144 in double overtime on January 27 at Chase Center.
“It is something that you will truly take all in when you’re done playing and be able to watch it with your grandkids and say ‘I played against one of the best players to ever play this game,’” James told ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters after delivering a monster triple-double (36 points, career-high 20 rebounds, 12 assists) against Curry’s 46-point, seven-assist performance in an instant classic.
“Steph, after the game, came to me and said, ‘How does it keep getting better? How do we keep getting better?’ I think it’s just a true testament to us putting the work in the game and being true to the game and the game just continues to get back to us.”
So what’s the secret behind their sustained brilliance?
“Appreciating and understanding the ones that came before us. And then never take the game for granted knowing that at any moment it can be taken away from you,” James said. “So, every time we step on the floor, every time we have film sessions, every time we’re around our teammates, we try to pour energy into them. And the game allows us to give back on the whole when we get on the floor. So myself and Steph, I don’t want to talk for him or speak for him but I think we’re just true to the game.”
Steph Curry Reflects on Rivarly with LeBron James
Curry shared his own perspective after writing another chapter to his colorful rivalry with James.
“Every year we get to do this, the back-and-forth battles, all the finals runs, to the playoffs last year, after the horn sounded tonight there was a little laugh of we can’t like imagine a scenario where a game like tonight happens, his year, what, 21, and my year 15,” Curry told reporters after the loss. “All the other guys in the league who have been doing it 15-plus years, KD [Kevin Durant], CP [Chris Paul], it’s insane.
You look forward to the battles, but you also appreciate the mutual respect of what it takes to keep doing what you’re doing at this level because only a few people know how hard it is. I’m happy to be in that group.”
Curry made 9 of 21 3-pointers, none bigger than his last with six seconds left in the second overtime which gave the Warriors a 144-143 lead. But James had the last say.
Red-Hot Jonathan Kuminga Is Close to ‘Untouchable’
Jonathan Kuminga sustained his fiery form, scoring 22 points on 50% shooting against the Lakers.
His recent ascent has made him virtually “untouchable” next to Curry in the Warriors’ trade talks.
Unless a team overwhelms the Warriors with a too-good-to-pass-up deal, Kuminga would stay in The Bay, according to Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto.
“The Warriors are pleased with the growth of Jonathan Kuminga this season and are reluctant to trade him, I’m told. Theoretically, it would take a package involving an All-Star player or an overpay of draft picks for Golden State to even consider trading him,” Scotto reported in the Hoopshype podcast on January 26.
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