LeBron James recorded 33 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds, and Thomas Bryant scored the winning basket with 7.4 seconds remaining to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 119-117 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards on Sunday, December 18 (Monday, December 19, Manila time).
James topped 30 points for the fourth consecutive game and was lining up to take the tiebreaking shot when the Wizards double-teamed him and almost made the steal. James scrambled to get the ball and delivered the pass to Bryant, who slammed home the decisive dunk.
Washington’s Kyle Kuzma missed a last-second three-pointer. The Wizards have dropped 10 straight games and 13 of their past 14.
Lonnie Walker IV scored 21 points and Bryant had 16 points and 10 rebounds while receiving a bigger role due to the absence of Anthony Davis (right foot), who was injured Friday against the visiting Denver Nuggets.
Washington star Bradley Beal returned from a six-game absence due to a hamstring injury and scored 29 points in 32 minutes.
Kuzma contributed 22 points and a season-best 16 rebounds, while Kristaps Porzingis added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards. Daniel Gafford had 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
Gafford scored on a putback dunk and Beal hit a short jumper to knot the score at 115 with 32.8 seconds left.
James then drove right through the lane for a dunk to put the Lakers ahead with 27.3 seconds left before Beal made two free throws to tie it with 23.3 seconds to play. James then averted a turnover and fed Bryant for the winner.
Dennis Schroder and Austin Reaves added 12 points apiece for Los Angeles, which shot 50% from the field and was 11 of 27 from 3-point range.
The Wizards connected on 46.3% of their shots and were 10 of 39 from behind the arc.
Los Angeles held an 84-75 lead after Walker’s basket with 3:45 left in the third quarter before the Wizards ripped off 13 straight points. Porzingis scored the last 6 of the run as Washington took an 88-84 advantage.
It was 88-87 entering the final stanza before Corey Kispert drained a trey and Will Barton and Kuzma followed with baskets to give the Wizards an eight-point lead 57 seconds into the quarter.
The Lakers bounced right back as James scored 6 points during an 11-0 burst that gave his club a 98-95 edge with 8:23 to play.
A three-pointer by Bryant and a layup by James made it 111-104 with 3:35 left before the Wizards rallied.
James scored 15 first-half points as the Lakers led 66-52 at the break. – Rappler.com