With the crowd cheering his every step inside State Farm Arena, LeBron James scored 47 points on his 38th birthday as his Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 130-121 Friday night.
“At 18 years old, I knew how to play the game,” James said. “I knew I belonged in the NBA, but I didn’t know what I could become at 18. But I knew if I continued to put in the work and I continued to reach into the game then I could be one of the greatest players to ever play this game.”
In the midst of the raucous atmosphere last night, LeBron’s mother, Gloria, and his wife Savannah were courtside.
“They’ve been with me since before this 20-year campaign started,” James said. “They’re the rock to everything that I do. To have them there tonight sitting courtside and just being a part of this journey, being here for my birthday, being here for the holidays, it’s pretty cool.”
With the loss, Atlanta falls to 17-19 on the season, losing their third game in a row and losing their seventh game out of their last eleven. Trae Young scored 29 points and added eight assists. Notably, Hawks forward John Collins was plagued by foul trouble for most of the night. He finished with seven points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes.
The Hawks have a couple of days off before a crucial west coast trip that will begin Monday against the Golden State Warriors.