James tops 40 points for second straight game as Lakers win

LeBron rises up for sweet reverse dunk (0:25)

Dennis Schroder lobs it up for LeBron James, who gets up for a reverse slam. (0:25)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- LeBron James hit the 40-point plateau for the second straight game since his 38th birthday in the Los Angeles Lakers' 121-115 win over the Hornets on Monday, and coach Darvin Ham says he's going to keep leaning on the aging veteran.

"I just want to ride him," Ham said after James played 39 minutes and 33 seconds -- the most by any player on either team. "And he allows you to do that because he takes such great care of himself. So, it's a great luxury to have."

James became the first player since Michael Jordan to score 40 or more points in consecutive games after the age of 38. Jordan did it twice in his stint with the Washington Wizards.

He had 43 points on 16-for-26 shooting, 11 rebounds and six assists against the Hornets, this after a brilliant 47-point, 10-rebound, nine-assist showing in a win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

In James' last 11 games, he has averaged 34.5 points on 58.2% shooting and Los Angeles has gone 6-5. Eight of those games have come since Anthony Davis went out with a fractured bone spur and stress reaction in his right foot.

Last season, James went on a similar tear starting with Davis' knee injury in December 2021 -- reeling off 23 straight games with 25 points or more with comparable efficiency numbers. He doesn't see a correlation between the two stretches, however.

"Last year is last year," James said. "Obviously, found a good groove last year. But this year is this year, as well. I feel really good in every facet of my game."

His game looks good, too. Monday's victory to secure a successful 3-2 road trip featured James catching a lob pass alley-oop from Dennis Schroder in the second half and finishing with a two-handed, reverse windmill dunk.

"The pass always makes for great highlights," James said. "I was able to bring it home and in fashion."

James' teammate, Austin Reaves, could only marvel at the sequence.

"It's incredible," Reaves said. "To see him at his age ... the stuff that he does, the way that he moves, the contact that he endures in a full game and just the way that his body has held up this whole time, it's super impressive.

"But it's a testament to what he does on a daily basis. He's always the first one in the training room, the first one taking care of his body and also getting the work in as well. So, to say the least, I'm happy to be on his team."

The win over the Hornets marked the end of a treacherous segment of the schedule in which Los Angeles played 16 out of 22 games on the road. Coming out of it, the Lakers are two games behind the Utah Jazz for the final play-in spot for the Western Conference playoffs.