"You can't just put all the blame on LeBron, I think the Lakers got disconnected from what they was trying to do."
The Lakers, who trailed by as many as 20 early in the second quarter, went ahead for the first time since making the first basket of the game when Kuzma put in a layup for a 66-64 lead with 8:48 left in the third quarter.
James played 33 minutes and showed no signs of letting up with the Lakers barely hanging on in the playoff race.More news: Unai Emery "excited" by prospect of winning Europa League with Arsenal
"Not really, but I definitely recognize the greatness Mike had in this city", James said.
If the lead dwindled into single digits, James was prepared to close things out and bring his minutes total to 36 or more, if an overtime session were needed.
The team lost seven of 10 games heading into the All-Star break, then dropped seven of their next nine heading into Tuesday's matchup with the lowly Chicago Bulls.More news: U.S. envoy slams China for Muslim camps; call them ‘horrific’
Whether James was smothering Derrick Rose in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals for the Miami Heat or sinking buzzer-beating game-winners over Jimmy Butler in the 2015 Conference semi-finals for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he has had his Chicago moments.
They resembled the Showtime Lakers on one particular play in the fourth quarter, when James tossed the ball to Hart in transition, with no Bulls players back on defense. "I'll be watching if we're not in there and it looks like we're not". "For our young guys to be able to play playoff teams on the road, it's very key for their development still".
Lakers: Coach Luke Walton has not made a decision on if he will rest James in one of the back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday in Toronto and Detroit. All playoff teams, all good teams. Those games will be like playoff games, if we want them to be. "I'm optimistic. I'm not eyeing a return date, but I'm optimistic", Boylen said.More news: Johnny Depp accuses ex-wife Amber Heard of abuse, chopping his finger
In a season that has fallen flat, it was a possible preview of what James might still have in store for his Lakers tenure. It felt like everybody had shots tonight.