LeBron James, sick enough earlier in the day that his ability to take the court Friday night was in doubt, nonetheless finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists as the host Los Angeles Lakers turned back the New Orleans Pelicans 112-104 on Friday night.
December 21, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) and forward Julius Randle (30) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
It was James’ third triple-double as a member of the Lakers and his second in four games. It was also the 76th of his career. Kyle Kuzma added 23 points for the Lakers, who ended a two-game losing streak.
Anthony Davis produced 30 points and 20 rebounds for the Pelicans, who lost their third consecutive game and are 0-2 to start their four-game road trip.
Los Angeles’ Rajon Rondo scored eight points and dished out nine assists in his first game since Nov. 14. He missed 17 contests because of a broken bone in his hand that required surgery.
Bucks 120, Celtics 107
While Giannis Antetokounmpo got off to a slow start, his Milwaukee teammates used their size and 3-point shooting to build a 26-point first-half advantage, and the visiting Bucks went on to win at Boston.
Antetokounmpo attempted only four shots from the field in scoring 11 points before the break. He finished with 30 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. Khris Middleton added 21 points and Eric Bledsoe had 16 for the Bucks.
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 21 points off the bench. Jayson Tatum finished with 20 points despite missing 10 of 15 shots from the field.
Raptors 126, Cavaliers 110
Kawhi Leonard matched his season best with 37 points on 12-for-16 shooting, and Toronto defeated visiting Cleveland.
OG Anunoby equaled his career bests with 21 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Fred VanVleet added 14 points and eight assists, and Norman Powell scored 11 points.
Jordan Clarkson had 20 points for Cleveland. Collin Sexton added 17 points. Larry Nance Jr. had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Cedi Osman chipped in with 12 points for the Cavaliers.
Pacers 114, Nets 106
Victor Oladipo recorded 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists to help Indiana beat Brooklyn in New York.
Thaddeus Young scored 21 points while Domantas Sabonis and Bojan Bogdanovic added 17 apiece for the Pacers, who ended a two-game slide. Myles Turner contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Rodions Kurucs scored 24 points and DeMarre Carroll added 16 for Brooklyn, which had a season-best seven-game winning streak snapped. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 15 points, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Joe Harris had 13 apiece.
Spurs 124, Timberwolves 98
Bryn Forbes poured in 22 points, 15 of them in the first half, and six of his teammates scored in double figures as San Antonio cruised past visiting Minnesota.
San Antonio rolled to its third win in a row. Minnesota took its second straight loss and its sixth in seven games.
Marco Belinelli added 17 points for the Spurs, with Davis Bertans tallying 15, Rudy Gay hitting for 14, and DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl scoring 12 each. The Spurs outshot Minnesota 52.9 percent to 39.8 percent and outrebounded the Timberwolves 50-39.
Jazz 120, Trail Blazers 90
Ricky Rubio scored 24 points and dished out eight assists as visiting Utah blew away Portland.
Kyle Korver and Jae Crowder came off the bench for 18 and 16 points, respectively, and Rudy Gobert contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who had lost four in a row on the road.
Damian Lillard scored 19 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. It was Portland’s second-biggest margin of defeat this season, next to a 143-100 drubbing at Milwaukee on Nov. 21.
Kings 102, Grizzlies 99
De’Aaron Fox capped a huge comeback by sinking the tying and go-ahead free throws with 1:17 remaining, and host Sacramento took advantage of a late scoring drought by Memphis to score a victory.
Willie Cauley-Stein and Buddy Hield each added two free throws to ice the victory for the Kings, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Hield led all scorers with 28 points for the Kings, who trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half and began the fourth quarter down 74-65. Mike Conley made seven 3-pointers while scoring 23 points for the Grizzlies, who lost their fifth straight.
Bulls 90, Magic 80
Lauri Markkanen scored a season-high 32 points, one shy of his career best, and made the jump shot that put Orlando away for good in Chicago’s home win.
Robin Lopez scored 14 points and Kris Dunn added 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Bulls, who won for just the third time in the past 15 games.
Evan Fournier sank five 3-pointers and scored 24 points, and Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 19 rebounds for the Magic. Aaron Gordon added 14 points and 12 rebounds, but Orlando shot just 32.6 percent from the floor.
Hornets 98, Pistons 86
Marvin Williams scored 24 points, with a career-high seven 3-pointers, and host Charlotte continued its mastery over Detroit.
Williams hit four of his triples in the third quarter, when the Hornets pulled out to a 14-point lead and took control of the game for good. It was Charlotte’s third win over the Pistons in three games this season, and it was the second in the past 10 days.
Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 23 points. Andre Drummond finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Hawks 114, Knicks 107
Kent Bazemore scored 22 points and sparked his team’s strong second-half defense to lead visiting Atlanta over New York.
Bazemore also pulled down six rebounds to help Atlanta win its second straight game and break a five-game road losing streak. Bazemore hit a pair of free throws with 48.7 seconds remaining to give Atlanta a seven-point lead and ice the game.
New York was led by Emmanuel Mudiay with 32 points, the third time he’s reached the 30-point mark this season — all in the last five games. Kevin Knox added 24 points and six rebounds.
—Field Level Media