KEY POINTS

  • LeBron James fortifies case for MVP
  • Lakers defeat Clippers on Sunday
  • James had his best weekend as a Lakers

LeBron James issued a strong statement this weekend as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to separate wins against NBA top-tiers Milwaukee Bucks on Friday and Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.  The 35-year-old appears to be at the cutting-edge of his run in LA as his dazzling showcase recently has buoyed up his bid for a fifth MVP plum. 

The Lakers, who have been under the microscope all season, persist to thrive under the immense scrutiny as James stands at the forefront with his big boy pants showing the rest of the league that he still got more left in the tank.

"LeBron was unbelievable," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said postgame shortly after their 112-103 win against the Clippers.  "This was his best weekend in a Lakers uniform. He really dominated both games and helped close them out."

James stuffed the sheet anew with 28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds against their LA rivals who tried to give him multiple looks defensively that ended up faltering especially down the stretch. He also had 37 points on above 50 percent shooting, eight boards and eight dimes on Friday against the Bucks where he logged in high mileage by playing a game-high 36 minutes. 

The Lakers staved off a winless season series against the Kawhi Leonard-led Clippers who are the only team in the NBA who have beaten them twice this year: first on opening night and the other on Christmas Day. 

There's a lot to talk about James' case for another MVP hardware, especially with how he dominated the reigning MVP and Finals MVP, respectively, in his last outings. But the three-time champion deflects the credit and would rather leave the talks as a subjective discussion amongst spectators. 

"That's for you guys to talk about," James said. "I prepare myself both in my body and my mind and to endure anything, even at this stage in my career. I know what it takes for me to prepare mentally and physically and go out and perform on a high level, and it's my responsibility to put this team in a position to be successful. They look at me as a leader. It's my job not only on the floor to give guys opportunities, get them great looks, but inspire them as well and show them I'm not slowing down, even at this stage in my career."

LeBron Kawhi LeBron James defends Kawhi Leonard during Lakers vs. Clippers NBA 2019-20 season opener. Photo: Getty Images/Harry How