LeBron James scored a game-high 38 points as the Los Angeles Lakers started big and finished strong while outlasting the visiting Indiana Pacers for a 104-96 victory on Thursday night.
Thursday night's results
- LA Lakers 104-96 Indiana Pacers
- Sacramento Kings 121-133 LA Clippers
- Toronto Raptors 131-128 Golden State Warriors (OT)
The Lakers opened with a 13-0 lead and had a 38-15 advantage after one quarter before the Pacers started to rally. Indiana held a brief lead in the third quarter, erasing a 24-point deficit, but the Lakers turned it on again to finish off the win.
Domantas Sabonis scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds off the bench for the Pacers, while Bojan Bogdanovic added 14 points. Indiana shot just 5 of 25 (20 per cent) from the field in the first quarter, missing both of its three-point shots in the opening 12 minutes.
LeBron dribbles against Indiana
Brandon Ingram scored 14 points and Josh Hart had 13 for the Lakers, who closed out the third quarter on a 17-6 run after Indiana took a 69-66 lead on a Tyreke Evans three-pointer. James contributed nine rebounds and seven assists.
The Pacers pulled within a point at 89-88 with just under five minutes remaining on a jump shot from Sabonis. However, James subsequently scored six consecutive points — a three-pointer and a three-point play — and the Lakers were never threatened again.
Highlights from the NBA as Golden State Warriors took on Toronto Raptors at the Scotiabank Arena
Thaddeus Young had 11 points for the Pacers, while Cory Joseph and Doug McDermott had 10 each. McDermott was coming off consecutive games of 21 points as the Pacers saw their brief two-game win streak come to an end.
The Pacers were nearly as dominating in the second quarter as the Lakers were in the first, outscoring Los Angeles 35-18 while going 6 of 10 from three-point range, while the Lakers were 0 of 6 from long distance in the quarter.
LeBron in action against the Pacers
The Lakers were aggressive from the outset two days after they were dominated at Denver in a 117-85 defeat to the Nuggets. The Thursday victory ended a brief two-game slide for the Lakers, which came after they had won 9 of 11 games.
James has scored at least 35 points four times this season, and he topped 30 points for the third time in the past six games.
Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 11 points each for the Lakers.
The Lakers celebrate
Tobias Harris’ late three-pointer helped the LA Clippers win 133-121 against the Sacramento Kings.
Highlights from the NBA as LA Clippers took on Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center
Sacramento reduced a 12-point deficit to just four in the final quarter so Harris’ intervention was timely. Harris scored 28 in total, with Montrezl Harrell adding 24 to propel the Pacific Division-leading Clippers to a fourth straight win.
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