Sportress of Blogitude

LeBron James shouts out Talen Horton-Tucker on Twitter over game-winner

Talen Horton-Tucker played the role of hero in the Los Angeles Lakers’ thrilling 101-99 overtime win over the host New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

LeBron James, who was expected to play in the game but opted to sit out and rest his injured right ankle one more day, gave a shout-out to the Lakers shooting guard on social media after the huge win.

James took to Twitter Wednesday night and issued a simple, but clear, message about Horton-Tucker. All it took was three letters — THT — followed by a lengthy sequence of exclamation points.

Horton-Tucker made the go-ahead three-pointer with 21.1 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Lakers unsurprisingly highlighted the big shot on Twitter.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel praised Horton-Tucker for his composure during postgame comments.

“He’s got big guts and he showed that with that shot,” Vogel said, via ESPN. “He had a young player type of night with good and bad plays. He kept his poise though and remained confident.”

As noted, the victory was a crucial one for the Lakers. At 39-30, the Lakers sit one game back of the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks for the coveted sixth seed in the Western Conference. L.A. has only three games remaining in the regular season, so the team can ill-afford any losses at this late stage if they hope to claim a No. 6 spot and avoid the dreaded play-in tournament format.

Which brings the Lakers’ season-ending narrative to James. After being a full participant in Monday’s practice, James opted to sit out Tuesday’s showdown with the Knicks. The plan is for James to play in Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets.

“It is sort of a soft plan for him to play tomorrow,” Vogel said Tuesday before the Lakers’ win over the Knicks, per ESPN. “He’s going to do some more rehab work today, and we’ll evaluate the response to that work tomorrow.”

While it’s expected that James is unlikely to get back to 100% anytime soon, his return could not come soon enough given the uncertain state of the Lakers’ playoff positioning.