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LeBron James capped one of his most remarkable triple-double performances with two free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime, giving the Los Angeles Lakers a 145-144 escape over the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco Saturday night, January 27 (Sunday, January 28, Manila time).
The nationally televised victory came on a night when it appeared the Lakers, opening a six-game trip, were destined for bad news when Anthony Davis walked gingerly to the locker room in the third quarter, having suffered what appeared to be a serious hip injury.
However, Davis reappeared in the fourth quarter and, while limping noticeably at game’s end, completed a 29-point, 13-rebound double-double in 45 minutes. He also had 4 blocks.
James played 48 of the game’s 58 minutes, recording a career-high 20 rebounds to go with 36 points and 12 assists in his 110th career triple-double.
His free throws came on a drive to the hoop after Stephen Curry had given Golden State a 144-143 lead on a three-pointer with 5.9 seconds left. Curry finished the night with nine three-pointers and a game-high 46 points.
Down by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and watching Davis head to the locker room, the Lakers nonetheless managed to hold the upper hand late in regulation and in the first overtime.
But Curry drove around Davis for a tying layup with 5.9 seconds left in regulation, before Klay Thompson buried a game-tying triple with 7.0 seconds remaining in the first extra session, each leading to five additional minutes.
D’Angelo Russell, whose second three-pointer of the second overtime had rallied the Lakers into a 142-141 lead with 53.1 seconds to go, backed James and Davis with 28 points, while Austin Reaves chipped in with 17, Jarred Vanderbilt 14 to go with 9 rebounds and 4 steals, and Rui Hachimura 11.
Russell shot 7-for-7 at the line and James 6-for-6 on a night when the Lakers, who had used a huge free throw disparity to aid in a 4-2 series win over the Warriors in last year’s playoffs, outscored Golden State 38-11 on foul shots.
Golden State countered with a 69-27 dominance from beyond the arc, with Curry going 9-for-22 and Klay Thompson 6-for-17.
But Thompson eventually fouled out, as did Andrew Wiggins, leaving the Warriors, already without injured Chris Paul, Gary Payton II and Moses Moody, shorthanded at the end.
Thompson totaled 24 points, Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga scored 22 apiece and Brandin Podziemski added 10 for the Warriors, who lost their second straight.
Draymond Green was the Warriors’ leading rebounder (14) and assist man (11) to complement 8 points, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.