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LeBron James came up clutch in the Lakers 103-100 win over the Warriors in Wednesday’s play-in game.
After being poked in the eye by Warriors forward Draymond Green, James hit a 34-foot 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 58.2 seconds remaining. The miracle shot came with the game even at 100 and delivered a win for Los Angeles to clinch the seventh seed and an official ticket to the playoffs.
“After Draymond’s finger to the eye, I was literally seeing three rims out there,” James said after the game. “So I just shot at the middle one. And I was able to, with the grace from the man above, I was able to knock it down.”
James, following the eye-poke, told the Lakers bench, “I can’t see,” and eventually received eye drops from the team’s medical staff.
Before he hit the game-winning shot with longtime rival Steph Curry guarding him, James was fouled by Green under the Lakers basket. He went on to make a single free-throw to tie the game at 100.
James finished the night with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in 35 minutes.
James’ deep 3-pointer was his longest shot of the season, and the longest make in the final three minutes of any game in his career, according to ESPN Stats and Research.
The Lakers will take on the second-seeded Suns in the first round of the playoffs. The title defense will be a challenge as a No. 7 seed has never won an NBA championship.
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