NBA: Lakers top Nets in Anthony Davis' return, LeBron has 33 | Inquirer Sports
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NBA: Lakers top Nets in Anthony Davis’ return, LeBron has 33

/ 02:21 PM January 26, 2022
 LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 25, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 25, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Michelle Farsi/Getty Images/AFP

LeBron James totaled 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Los Angeles Lakers led most of the way and recorded a 106-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night in New York.

The Lakers led for the final 37:45, improved to 2-1 on their six-game road trip and welcomed Anthony Davis back after the center missed 17 games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

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Davis had a dunk on the game’s first possession and finished with eight points in 25 minutes. The Lakers had gone 7-10 without him.

James made 14 of 21 shots and highlighted his league-leading 22nd 30-point showing with consecutive thunderous dunks midway through the fourth.

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Malik Monk hit six 3-pointers and added 22 points for the Lakers, who shot 47.2 percent from the floor. Russell Westbrook added 15 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in 13.

James Harden notched a triple-double of 33 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, but it was not nearly enough as the Nets dropped to 2-3 since losing Kevin Durant to a sprained left knee on Jan. 15.

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Patty Mills added 15 points and DeAndre’ Bembry contributed 12 for the Nets. Brooklyn shot 42 percent, lost for the ninth time in 15 games and dropped to 2-7 in their past nine home games.

After the Lakers missed their first eight shots of the fourth quarter, Westbrook hit a layup and James then intercepted a pass from Harden and coasted in for a windmill dunk with 6:58 left. On the next possession, James intercepted a pass by Brooklyn’s James Johnson and soared in for a one-handed dunk to make it 100-85.

LeBron then hit another layup with 4:03 remaining for a 104-89 lead after Stanley Johnson intercepted a pass by Harden near midcourt.

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The Lakers ended the first quarter on a 12-2 run for a 33-25 lead when James hit a layup at the buzzer. Los Angeles opened a 42-29 lead with about nine minutes left in the half when Monk and Anthony hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. The Lakers led 62-53 at halftime.

A free throw by Harden got the Nets within 71-70 with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter, but the Lakers surged ahead again, taking an 86-76 lead on a layup by Westbrook with 2:28 remaining and a 92-78 lead into the fourth.

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