NBA regular season

LeBron scores season-high 39 as Lakers escape Pacers in OT

LeBron scores season-high 39 as Lakers escape Pacers in OT

TOUGH GRIND. Lakers star LeBron James looses the ball as Pacers' Justin Holiday (right) and Domantas Sabonis put up a challenge in second-half action.

Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

After a one-game suspension, LeBron James quickly gets back to work to power the Lakers to an overtime thriller against the Pacers

LeBron James scored 7 of his season-high 39 points in overtime, and the Los Angeles Lakers closed their five-game road swing with a 124-116 escape over the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis on Wednesday, November 24 (Thursday, November 25, Manila time).

Los Angeles trailed early in the second leg of a back-to-back and spent most of the game playing from behind.

The Lakers chipped away at the deficit, pulling ahead in the late fourth quarter. James scored 7 of Los Angeles’ points in a row to power the Lakers to a six-point lead with 1:17 left, but Indiana responded when Justin Holiday and Chris Duarte each hit a three-pointer in the final 27.3.

Duarte’s off-balance jumpshot from the corner, part of a 17-point night for the rookie, forced overtime.

Los Angeles controlled the extra period, holding the Pacers to just 4 points. 

James, who missed the would-be game-winner at the end of regulation, connected on a step-back three-pointer and fadeaway jumper in the waning moments to keep Indiana’s rally efforts at bay.

James, who returned after serving his first career suspension, added 5 rebounds and a team-high 6 assists. 

Russell Westbrook scored 20 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished 5 assists in the win, which came without Anthony Davis.

Davis missed Wednesday’s game due to a non-COVID illness.

The Lakers bench responded, scoring 53 combined points. Malik Monk set the pace with 17, while Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington each chipped in 14 points.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 28 points, leading the way among seven Pacers scoring in double-figures. 

Holiday hit four three-pointers en route to 16 points, TJ McConnell and Caris LeVert each scored 10 points, Myles Turner added 12 points, and Domantas Sabonis recorded his 14th double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

With the loss, Indiana remained without three consecutive wins at any point in the season. The Pacers came into Wednesday’s game with blowout wins over New Orleans and Chicago in their previous two games.

Los Angeles finished its road swing 2-3 with Wednesday’s win. –