NBA: Lakers top Nets in Anthony Davis’ return, LeBron has 33
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.
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.
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.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 26, 2022
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.
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.
— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2022
LeBron then hit another layup with 4:03 remaining for a 104-89 lead after Stanley Johnson intercepted a pass by Harden near midcourt.
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.