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LeBron James scores 42 points, 20 in fourth quarter, to rally Lakers past Spurs

Tania Ganguli, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES -- What can one player do?

When he's LeBron James, he can decide to not let a game get away.

That's what he did Wednesday night in the Los Angeles Lakers' 121-113 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center as the Lakers were without one starter and one key reserve for most of the game because of injuries, and another key reserve was hampered by foul trouble.

He can answer, without words and with simply another remarkable fourth quarter, just what he means for the Lakers' future, on a day dominated by questions about whether superstars would be willing to play with him.

He can barrel into a crowd of defenders and release a layup, as he is fouled, that teeters on the rim for a moment before falling through.

He can launch a seemingly hopeless three-point shot from 35 feet that rattles into the net.

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He can give his shorthanded teammates the push they need to get past a team that had confounded them this season.

"It's the fourth quarter and my teammates look at me to make plays. ... I put that type of pressure on my back," James said. "I love my teammates giving me that responsibility. That was the result of it tonight."

In a remarkable fourth quarter, James put together his own 12-2 run that brought the Lakers back from being down eight points.

He finished with 42 points, 20 of them in the fourth quarter, and had six assists and five rebounds. In the final period, he made all three of the three-point shots he took, after making none of the four he tried in the first three quarters.

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