LeBron James sinks winning hoop as LA Lakers edge Clippers
LeBron James followed his own miss and made the winning shot with 12.8 seconds left as the Los Angeles Lakers earned a 103-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday in the restart of the NBA season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.
Anthony Davis scored 34 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Lakers, and James finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. James struggled on 6-of-19 shooting.
Kyle Kuzma added 16 points for the first-place Lakers (50-14), who increased their lead to 6 1/2 games over the second-place Clippers (44-21) in the Western Conference standings.
Paul George had 30 points for the Clippers, but he missed a 3-point attempt at the final horn. Kawhi Leonard finished with 28 points, Patrick Beverley added 12 points, and Reggie Jackson added 10.
The Clippers played without their top reserves, guard Lou Williams, who is in quarantine after leaving the NBA’s central Florida “bubble,” and forward Montrezl Harrell, who left the facility July 17 for an emergency family matter.
The Clippers wiped out a two-point halftime deficit with a 12-3 surge to open the third quarter for a 66-55 advantage. However, consecutive 3-pointers by Davis put the Lakers up 72-71 with 1:41 remaining the period.
The Clippers took a 77-76 lead heading in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers, who led by as much as 13 in the first half, seized a 41-29 edge when Dion Waiters (11 points off the bench) converted a layup two minutes into the second quarter. However, a jumper by Leonard capped a 9-0 run as the Clippers cut the gap to 41-38 with 7:45 remaining in the quarter.
Two free throws by Davis pushed the margin to 50-40 midway through the quarter before the Clippers rallied again. A 12-4 run to end the half allowed them to pull within 54-52 at the break.
Davis scored 20 points in the first half while Leonard finished with 19.
Both teams showed rust after more than four months of competitive play. The Clippers committed 22 turnovers compared to 16 for the Lakers. The Lakers prevailed despite shooting 39 percent from the floor to 43.2 percent for the Clippers.