James, Doncic match triple-doubles, but Lakers prevail
DALLAS—LeBron James faced the crowd and sidestepped his way up the floor after a punctuating three-pointer in overtime made possible by Danny Green’s buzzer-beating triple in regulation.
The Lakers star took an extra peek toward the national TV crew at center court, perhaps to gauge the entertainment value of the first matchup of the 15-time All-Star alongside Anthony Davis against Dallas’ young European pair of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
The extra period was anticlimactic—but didn’t really take away from the second half that preceded it.
Davis started overtime with back-to-back dunks after Green’s corner three, and the Lakers beat the Mavericks, 119-110, on Friday night amid matching triple-doubles from James and Doncic, the Slovenian who grew up admiring the four-time MVP.
“You never know who you can inspire along your path,” James said. “For me, playing the game the right way, getting my teammates involved and playing for the purity of the game, I was able to inspire a kid that wasn’t even in America. That’s pretty special.”
James had a season-high 39 points with 16 assists and 10 rebounds, while Doncic finished with 31 points, a career-high 15 assists and 13 boards.
According to the NBA, they became the youngest and oldest players in NBA history with triple-doubles that included at least 30 points and 15 assists, doing so in the same game.
The 20-year-old Doncic, who grew up modeling his game after James, had his 10th career triple-double, extending his record for the most for a player under 21. James, who has 82 for his career, is third on that list with five.
Meanwhile, Stephen Curry will miss at least three months for the ailing Warriors because of a broken left hand that required surgery, the toughest blow yet in an already difficult season for struggling Golden State following five straight trips to the NBA Finals.
Now, both Splash Brothers are on the sidelines, leaving Golden State thin in the backcourt while facing a 1-3 record and just trying to stay in games.
Klay Thompson is recovering from a July 2 surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. —AP
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