NBA: LeBron James scores 43 as Lakers avenge loss to Hornets
Lebron James churned out another stellar performance with 43 points and 11 rebounds to carry the Los Angeles Lakers to a 121-115 victory against the host Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
Thomas Bryant had 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Dennis Schroder, who turned in some key baskets in the fourth quarter, and Austin Reaves both had 15 points to help the Lakers avenge a home loss from 10 nights earlier. Troy Brown Jr. had 12 points on four 3-pointers.
“We needed this on the end of a road trip,” said LeBron, who was an efficient 16 of 26 from the field. “We’re tired right now, but we stuck with it throughout the whole game and got a win.”
The Hornets trimmed a 24-point, second-half hole to 117-113 before James nailed two free throws with 16.6 seconds to play. He added two more foul shots.
James shot 16-for-26 from the field despite missing all five of his 3-point attempts. He was 11-for-15 on free throws.
LeBron tonight in the Lakers W:
He becomes the second player in NBA history to record back-to-back 40+ point games at age 35 or older, joining Michael Jordan. pic.twitter.com/8RtoNJwuJ4
— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2023
Terry Rozier scored 17 of his 27 points in the last 7 1/2 minutes, LaMelo Ball posted 24 points and Mason Plumlee supplied 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Hornets, who lost for the seventh time in their last eight home games. P.J. Washington added 12 points and Jalen McDaniels had 10 points.
LeBron scored nine points and had an assist during the Lakers’ 14-5 stretch to begin the second half as the margin grew to 74-50.
Yet the Hornets climbed back to within nine points with nine minutes left in the game. Schroder made a pair of free throws for the Lakers. And when Charlotte got back within 10 with seven minutes to go, Schroder drained a 3-pointer.
The Lakers shot 50 percent from the field and led 60-45 at halftime. The Hornets made only 34 percent of their shots in the first half, needing Plumlee’s 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor to at least give them a chance.
Los Angeles outscored the Hornets 14-0 in the first four minutes of the second quarter. Reaves scored five points in the spurt, which concluded with James racking up the last seven points.