Watch: LeBron Helps Secure Lakers Loss with Perhaps the Ugliest Play of His Career


On the night that LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan on the all-time NBA scoring list, he might have had one of the most embarrassing plays of his career.

With time running out in the Lakers 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, James took the inbounds pass with 2:22 left and let it roll up the court.

This is something that’s typical at the end of games or quarters, as the clock doesn’t start until the player touches the ball. So, the team that’s losing will often let it roll up to half-court before picking it up to save precious seconds.

But it’s usually done in the final minute of a close game. It’s usually not done with two-and-a-half minutes left where the team is trailing by 13 points.

James lets the ball roll up the court at 2:22 in the fourth quarter. He lets it keep rolling past half-court, as the Nuggets’ defense is packed tight and not challenging James.

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So, he lets it keep rolling and rolling all the way up to the three-point arc on the right side of the court.

At this point, it’s rolling toward the right sideline heading out of bounds.  The Nuggets’ Paul Millsap jumps out and tries to grab the ball in front of James, who scrambles to get it before Millsap does.

In the process of keeping it away from Millsap, James knocks the ball out of bounds for an ugly and embarrassing turnover.

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“What a sloppy play by James there,” the announcer said.

James did the exact same thing in the Lakers’ last game with the Clippers on Monday night.

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With 31 seconds left in the first half, he let it roll up to a similar spot, but this time he fired up a three-pointer — which missed.

Earlier in the Nuggets game, James became the NBA’s 4th all-time leading scorer, surpassing Jordan. James made a driving layup with just over 5 minutes left in the second quarter to pass Jordan with 32,293 career points.

James had 31 points in the loss to Denver, which dropped the Lakers 6.5 games behind the Clippers and Spurs for the 8th and final playoff spot.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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