The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

With blurred vision but pinpoint accuracy, LeBron James buries late three to rescue Lakers

LeBron James (22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) takes aim at the three-pointer that would bury the Warriors in the final minute of their Western Conference play-in game Wednesday. “I saw three rims,” James said. “I just aimed for the middle one.” (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES — The real playoffs haven’t even started yet, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ title defense has already survived its first major scare.

At the end of a choppy and discombobulated night that left him blurry-eyed, LeBron James drilled a go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute of regulation to deliver a thrilling 103-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors in a Western Conference play-in game.

Offensive rhythm and execution were hard to come by all night for the Lakers, and even James’s game-deciding moment was the result of a broken play. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope found himself in the paint with nowhere to go and seemingly no one to pass to before he found James well outside the arc.