LeBron James insists the Los Angeles Lakers are not thinking about locking down the top seed in the Western Conference after taking a four-game lead over the Denver Nuggets.
The Lakers claimed a 120-116 overtime victory against the Nuggets at Pepsi Center on Wednesday, with James putting up 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds to send his team into the All-Star break on the back of an important triumph.
While he would relish having home-court advantage in a first postseason with the Los Angeles franchise, the 16-time All-Star claims there has been no discussion about their potential seeding within the team.
“We don’t talk about it. At the end of the day I think every Western Conference team that will make the playoffs can win on someone else’s floor,” said James.
“For us, we would love to play in front of our home fans as much as we can. We love being there with our Laker faithful.
“But at the end of the day, you go out and play each and every game like it’s its own game. You can’t worry about what could happen the following day. You can only live in the present.”
He added: “We are where we need to be. We’ll come back off the break and get ready for the final stretch of the regular season.
“You don’t put too much into it. You understand you played some good basketball along the way, played some not good basketball. But you want to continue to get better and continue to trust the process.
“We look forward to when we get back, getting back on the floor and see how far we’ll continue to grow.”
The Lakers have not made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season and James thought the win over the Nuggets provided a taste of what is to come.
“Every opportunity we get to play in a close game against a tough opponent, it’s a learning experience for all of us,” he said.
“It prepares us for a postseason game where it’s going to be back and forth, back and forth. I thought tonight was a playoff atmosphere, the teams being No. 1 and No. 2 in the Western Conference, jockeying for position.”