LOS ANGELES, USA – Anthony Davis had 23 points and 9 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 108-95, at Staples Center on Sunday, December 29 (Monday, December 30, Philippine time)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came off the bench to score 19 points while LeBron James, who turns 35 on Monday, finished with a double-double of 13 points and 13 assists.
James became the ninth player in league history to reach 9,000 career assists.
Luka Doncic, who entered the contest as the NBA’s third-leading scorer at 29.1 points per game, had 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting and 7 assists.
The Mavericks got a scare in the 2nd quarter when Doncic was slammed to the ground by Lakers Dwight Howard, who was hit with a foul on the play.
Doncic was driving to the basket and in the air when Howard reach in with his left arm sending Doncic crashing to the floor.
This is the second vicious hit by Howard on Doncic this season. In November, Howard bloodied the 20-year-old Slovenian with an elbow to the head.
Delon Wright added 14 points off the bench, while Kristaps Porzingis managed 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
The Lakers outshot the Mavericks 48.7% to 36% in the victory that kept them on top of the Western Conference at 26-7.
The Mavericks also played most of the game without Tim Hardaway, who left the contest with 5:26 remaining in the 1st quarter after suffering a hamstring injury.
Hardaway, who had 25 points in the Mavericks’ win at Golden State on Saturday, seemed to hurt himself after a dunk.
Pelicans down injury-hit Rockets
In New Orleans, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball scored 27 points each as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the injury-hit Houston Rockets, 127-112.
Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore added 25 each and Derrick Favors had 12 points and 16 rebounds as the Pelicans won for the fifth time in 6 games.
The Rockets played without Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who sat out with a sore toe. Harden is averaging a league best 38.3 points per game.
Westbrook sat out because the Rockets were playing two games in as many days after beating New Jersey 108-98 on Saturday.
Danuel House scored 22 points, Eric Gordon added 20 to lead the Rockets. – Rappler.com