LeBron triple-double powers Lakers to 5th straight win
MANILA, Philippines – LeBron James dominated as the Los Angeles Lakers nailed their fifth straight win with a 103-96 conquest of the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, November 3 (Monday, November 4, Philippine time).
James had 21 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who seized the top spot in the Western Conference at 5-1 after a rocky start following a season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
It was the second straight triple-double for James, who barely looks like playing in his 17th NBA season as he norms 26.4 points, a league-leading 10.8 assists, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 34.4 minutes.
"It was about us and how we could execute on the offensive end which we did," James said. "We got great looks."
"We take so much pride on defense. We want to try to keep their guys uncomfortable. We held a great offensive team to 40% shooting and under 100 points."
Anthony Davis was just as stellar for the Lakers with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks, Avery Bradley chipped in 16 points, while Dwight Howard delivered 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was especially pleased with the play of journeyman Howard, who is with his fifth team in the last 5 seasons.
The former first overall draft pick by the Orlando Magic in 2004 is past his prime as a starter in the league and appears to be more comfortable coming off the bench.
"He's bought into his role on this team. He is dominating on the defensive end," Vogel said of Howard.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had another 14 points in the win.
Dejounte Murray paced the Spurs, who dropped to 4-2 for 8th place in the Western Conference, with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists as Rudy Gay delivered 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Bryn Forbes and Derrick White each finished with 12 points, while DeMar DeRozan put up 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss.
Elsewhere, Luka Doncic also recorded his second consecutive triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 131-111.
Doncic finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds, and 15 assists for the Mavericks, who trailed 69-73 before dominating the rest of the game.
The 20-year old Doncic is the youngest player in NBA history to have back to back 25-point triple-doubles. It is the 11th triple double of his burgeoning career.
Doncic shot 9-for-17 overall and 5-for-10 from three-point range to reach his 29 points. His 14 rebounds, meanwhile, were the third-most of his career and his 15 assists tied a career-best.
He also had 15 assists in a triple-double performance against the Lakers on Friday night, a game in which he suffered a head injury after being blindsided by the Lakers' Howard.
Kristaps Porzingis chipped in with 18 points, Jalen Brunson had 14, Seth Curry chalked up 13, Boban Marjanovic and Tim Hardaway had 12 apiece, and Dorian Finney-Smith dropped 10 points for the Mavericks.
Kevin Love had a team-high 29 points, while Tristan Thompson added 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com