LeBron tallies triple-double as Lakers roll over struggling Nets

LOS ANGELES, USA – LeBron James moved a step closer to passing Kobe Bryant on the all-time NBA scoring list with his 10th triple-double of the season as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Brooklyn Nets, 128-113.

James finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to post his 91st career triple-double in front of a crowd of 17,700 at Barclays Arena that included former US President Bill Clinton.

He received a standing ovation from the Brooklyn crowd when he left the game for good late in the 4th quarter with the Lakers holding a big lead. 

There was so little defense played in the first half of the contest on Thursday, January 23 (Friday, January 24, Manila time) that for a while it appeared James might have a chance at catching Bryant for No. 3 on the all-time scoring list.

James ended the game at 33,626 points, 17 shy of Bryant. His next chance at passing Bryant will be Saturday in Philadelphia.

"To be linked with the greats that means a lot to me," said James, who was named a starter for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. "I grew up idolizing Michael (Jordan) and Kobe, gaining inspiration from their crafts and their stories."

James shot 11 of 19 from the floor as the Lakers shot 50% overall and hit a season-high 19 three-pointers. 

Anthony Davis added 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Kyle Kuzma had 16 as the Lakers got 55 points from their bench. Danny Green hit 4 three-pointers and contributed 14 points. 

The Nets dropped their fifth straight game and fell to 2-12 in their last 14 games. 

Kyrie Irving scored a team high 20 points, Taurean Prince added 18, while Caris LeVert contributed 16 as the Nets lost despite hitting 21 three-pointers.

Elsewhere, Bradley Beal scored 36 points as the Washington Wizards extended the Cleveland Cavaliers' skid to 6 straight games with a 124-112 victory.

The visiting Wizards shot 55.3% from the field and 44.4% from three-point range in front of a crowd of 19,400 at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Beal made 15 of 22 shots, one night after a 38-point performance in the Wizards' 134-129 overtime loss to the Miami Heat. 

The Wizards victory avenged a 113-100 loss to the Cavaliers on November 8.

Davis Bertans and Ish Smith both chipped in 17 points for the Wizards, who improved to 6-18 on the road this season. 

Collin Sexton highlighted his 29-point performance by making 10 of 15 shots from the floor for the Cavaliers. 

Larry Nance tallied a career-high-tying 22 points along with 12 rebounds, while Kevin Love added 21 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost 11 of their last 13 contests. – Rappler.com