LeBron James had 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and pulled within 63 points of becoming the NBA´s career scoring leader as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 112-111 on Thursday night.
James has 38,325 points, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holding the record at 38,387.
‘I just understood my game was needed more on the interior tonight,’ James said. ‘Needed to get some rebounds, need to get some baskets in there and and I felt like we were attacking, especially in the fourth quarter.’
James looked content doing the dirty work even though the Lakers trailed the entire first three quarters, usually by double digits.
But with a friendly road crowd imploring James to lead the Lakers back, his 3-pointer with 2:35 left in the game gave Los Angeles its first lead of the game. Anthony Davis’ short jumper with 35.1 seconds left and subsequent block proved to be the decisive plays on a night he had 31 points and 14 rebounds, but was left out of the All-Star Game.
Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James (6) shoots over Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23)
‘I think it’s one of the greatest records in sports, in general,’ he said. ‘It’s like the home run record in baseball. It’s one of those records that you don’t ever see or think will be broken.
‘You see guys like Hank Aaron, who had it for so long. You see guys like Sammy (Sosa) and Mark McGwire and you start climbing it and it’s like ‘Oh, this could really happen.’ It’s a fun thing as a sports person. It was fun watching those guys chasing it.’
But it was the Pacers who were chasing late.
On a night Aaron Nesmith scored a career-high 24 points, newly minted All-Star Tyrese Haliburton added 26 points and 12 assists in his first game in three weeks and Myles Turner had 20 points and 13 rebounds after signing a two-year contract extension, Buddy Hield missed a 17-footer as the clock ran out.
Indiana has lost four straight and this one befuddled longtime coach Rick Carlisle
James (6) drives on Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield (24) during the first half
MAVERICKS 111, PELICANS 106
Luka Doncic scored 31 points before leaving with a right heel injury, and Dallas Mavericks on without their All-Star to hand travel-weary New Orleans its 10th consecutive loss.
Doncic stayed in the game after taking a hard fall in the third quarter when he was winding up for a one-handed dunk on a drive and Brandon Ingram knocked the ball out of his hand as Doncic was bumped by Jonas Valanciunas.
Ingram was called for a foul, and New Orleans successfully challenged. Doncic returned after the break for the review, but after one trip down the court, the 23-year-old star screamed in frustration as he limped to the locker room without looking at the Dallas bench.
The Mavericks were up by 27 points when Doncic exited with 6:47 remaining in the third, and the lead was all the way down to four when Herbert Jones hit a layup with 58 seconds left in the game. Ingram scored 26 points.
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic grabs his right foot after an awkward fall against the Pelicans
NUGGETS 134. WARRIORS 117
Jamal Murray scored 33 points and Nikola Jokic had his 17th triple-double of the season, leading Denver past short-handed Golden State.
Jokic finished with 22 points, 16 assists and 14 rebounds. He had a triple-double by the midway mark of the third quarter as the Nuggets remain unbeaten this season when he reaches the plateau.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 18 points for the Western Conference-leading Nuggets. They improved to 24-4 at home.
Stephen Curry had 28 points for Golden State.
Denver Nuggets Jamal Murray looks to shoot over Golden State Warriors Jonathan Kuminga
CAVALIERS 128, GRIZZLIES 113
Darius Garland scored 32 points shortly after being left off the All-Star team and carried Cleveland following Donovan Mitchell´s ejection, leading the Cavaliers past slumping Memphis.
Garland was one of several players having All-Star-caliber seasons not named an Eastern Conference reserve by the coaches. He added 11 assists.
Mitchell, voted an All-Star starter last week, was tossed in the third quarter for throwing the ball at Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks after the pair tangled under the basket. Brooks also was thrown out.
With the Cavs leading 81-76, Brooks missed a shot and fell in the lane. While on the floor, he flung his arm back and struck Mitchell, who was standing over him, in the groin area. Mitchell dropped in pain and retaliated by firing the ball at Brooks and then charging and shoving him along the baseline in front of the Memphis bench.
Desmond Bane scored 25 points and All-Star Ja Morant had 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Grizzlies,’
Cavaliers Donovan Mitchell waves to the crowd after fighting with Grizzlies Dillon Brooks
KNICKS 106, HEAT 104
RJ Barrett rebounded from a late-game benching with 30 points, Isaiah Hartenstein made big plays on both ends of the floor in the final minute and New York beat Miami.
New York pulled out the victory after Erik Spoelstra correctly challenged a call that turned a Heat foul into a Knicks turnover. But Tyler Herro´s potential winning 3-point attempt bounced off the rim.
Julius Randle added 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who pulled within a game of Miami for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, the final guaranteed playoff spot.
Bam Adebayo had 32 points and nine rebounds for the Heat. Herro scored 25 points.
New York Knicks’ Julius Randle dunks the ball during the second half of an against the Heat
BULLS 114, HORNETS 98
Ayo Dosunmu matched a season high with 22 points, Coby White scored 20 points and Chicago overcame shaky outings by DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine to beat Charlotte.
Dosunmu made 9 of 10 shots, and White hit three 3-pointers. Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Andre Drummond had 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulls used a big third quarter to turn a four-point halftime lead into an 85-70 advantage heading to the fourth.
Terry Rozier scored 23 points for Charlotte. LaMelo Ball, coming off a triple-double Tuesday night in a loss at Milwaukee, added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists before getting ejected with 1:21 remaining.
Chicago Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu (12) brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets
BUCKS 106, CLIPPERS 105
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored an outstanding 54 points in the Milwaukee Bucks 106-105 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
The only other Bucks starter to score double figures in the game was Jrue Holiday who had 10 points, while Khris Middleton contributed 16 off the bench.
The Clippers were led by Norman Powell’s 26 points off the bench, while the starting lineup was much more balanced than Milwaukee with four players in double figures.
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo drives to the basket during the game against the LA Clippers
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