Los Angeles, December 17: LeBron James praised John Wall after the Washington point guard "dictated the game" in the Wizards' 128-110 victory over a weary and weakened Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Wall scored 40 points and also provided 14 assists to help the Wizards - who were without Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers ahead of an impending trade that will see Trevor Ariza join the team - snap a four-game losing streak in impressive fashion.
James, in contrast, struggled, managing a season-low 13 points as he sat out the fourth quarter just a day after registering a triple-double in a victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
The four-time MVP admitted the Lakers lacked energy following their exertions on Saturday, while they were not helped by JaVale McGee being a late scratch due to flu-like symptoms.
"He dictated the game - he had energy and we didn't," James told the media. "He kept us on our heels. That's what he is, a one-man fast-break.
"He's seen a few lay-ups in transition and then got his jump shot going and you're not going to stop him then.
"We are a team that is built on energy and depth – we didn't have either tonight."
Final from D.C. pic.twitter.com/v1izVd6mp9— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 17, 2018
Still, despite the heavy defeat in Washington, James feels the Lakers are on the right track as they look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
"We've got better every week since the season started. If we continue to do that, when April gets here, we'll get to where we want to be. I like the direction we're heading in," he said.
The Lakers end a four-game road trip - they lost at Houston before their victory in Charlotte - with a game against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.
James added: "We're a good team. Tonight is one of those incidents where we didn't play well.
"We've got a lot of our big-money guys – I don't mean pay cheques, I mean just big-time players, that are not playing due to injury or sickness.
"I don't put too much into this game. I look forward to how we see out this road trip, see if we can go .500 on Tuesday."