LOS ANGELES — The Lakers' most recent victory required LeBron James to play 40 minutes.
"If Bron plays like this, we want him to play 48 minutes," guard Austin Reaves said.
Actually, the Lakers don't.
James will celebrate his 39th birthday next month, which makes his logic-defying early-season efforts as disconcerting as they are promising.
The Lakers are as dependent on James as ever.
This season was supposed to be different, with the Lakers expecting their improved depth to decrease their reliance on James and allow them to better manage his workload.
That's not what's happened.
What does this mean for his ability to stay healthy? How much will he have remaining in the tank for the playoffs?
The Lakers don't have the luxury to ask those questions right now.
James scored 37 points on Sunday night in a 105-104 victory over the Houston Rockets. He scored 35 in the game before that, a win on the road over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
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