Watch: LeBron James draws 3 charges in first half vs Pelicans, including couple from Zion Williamson

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers: Semifinals - 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament
LeBron James drew three charges in the first half

LeBron James was a live wire during the first half of the 2023 NBA In-Season semifinal clash between the LA Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. In addition to propping up 21 points in the first half, the four-time NBA champion also drew three charges, with two of them against the explosive and much younger Zion Williamson.

James was in the right position to draw a charge, and that he took the blows and was up in an instant to rush down to the other end was one of the highlights of his performance in the first half.

The first half also saw James shoot 3s at a healthy clip, draining three of them in a row. His third was a pull-up 3 from the logo, which went viral on social media.

The Lakers, led by LeBron James finished their first half with a 67-54 lead. Ample support came in from Taurean Prince who sunk three of his shots from beyond the arc. At the time of writing, the Lakers were already up 30 points — a dominant lead that the Pelicans will have to overcome. The Lakers starters have been relentless on the offensive front since the start of the game.

Much of the focus has been on the Lakers' defense this game, and James putting his body on the line shows how badly he and LA want to make a statement by winning the maiden edition of the tournament.


LeBron James is in the running for the 2023 NBA In-Season MVP

Such has been his dominance in the NBA In-Season Tournament that LeBron James is one of the frontrunners for the marquee tournament MVP. In the knockout game against the Phoenix Suns, the 38-year-old was the best player on the floor with 31 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists. In a tense fourth quarter, James poured 15 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal.

So far in the tournament, James is averaging 26.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.8 steals. LA has looked unstoppable when he is on the hardwood and that comes as good news for a team that's gunning for the NBA Cup and the title by the end of the season.

According to BetOnline, the forward had emerged as the odds-on favorite to win the MVP ahead of the Pelicans clash. At +300, James is a great bet to take.

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