LOS ANGELES (AP)LeBron James hit a career-high nine 3-pointers while scoring 46 points, but the Los Angeles Clippers hit 19 3-pointers of their own on the way to a comfortable 133-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
James scored at least 40 points against the Clippers for the first time in his 20-year career, giving him a 40-point game against all 30 teams in the NBA. James hit his record ninth 3-pointer with 6:45 to play, setting a career high from distance in his 1,404th game.
James also ramped up his chase of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career scoring record with his 101st 40-point game, including the postseason. He trails Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) by just 177 points, putting him in position to potentially break the record at the end of the Lakers’ upcoming five-game road swing instead of back home in Los Angeles.
James’ brilliance wasn’t nearly enough: The Lakers never caught up after falling behind by 23 points, and James spent the final minutes on the bench after the Clippers pulled away for their 10th consecutive victory over their arena co-tenants in downtown Los Angeles.
Paul George had 27 points and nine rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard added 25 points in the Clippers’ third straight win overall. The Clippers hit a season-high 15 3-pointers in the first half while scoring a season-high 77 points and jumping to a 23-point halftime lead.
HEAT 98, CELTICS 95
MIAMI (AP) – Bam Adebayo had 30 points and 15 rebounds, including the jump shot that put Miami ahead to stay with 20.4 seconds remaining, and the Heat rallied from 14 down to beat Boston.
Haywood Highsmith had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Max Strus scored 13 points and Victor Oladipo had 12 for the Heat.
A 15-0 run in the fourth quarter lifted the Heat, who split the regular-season series with the Celtics 2-2.
Jayson Tatum finished with 31 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Celtics. Derrick White scored 23 points, and Robert Williams III had 11.
Tyler Herro stole a cross-court pass thrown by Jayson Tatum with just over a second remaining, denying Boston a chance to tie or take the lead.
Highsmith’s free throw with 0.6 seconds left put Miami up by three. Boston called time, and Payton Pritchard’s straightaway 30-footer fell short as time expired.
WIZARDS 127, MAVERICKS 126
DALLAS (AP) – Kyle Kuzma scored 30 points and made one of two free throws to break a tie with 4.2 seconds remaining, lifting Washington past Dallas.
Luka Doncic had 41 points and 15 rebounds for the Mavericks. Doncic still had on the jersey he ripped when he missed a free throw that would have put Dallas in front with 12.5 seconds to go when he bumped Kumza on a drive along the sideline. The Mavericks challenged, but the call was confirmed. Kuzma missed the first free throw, but swished the second.
Doncic tried twice to pass to Spencer Dinwiddie out of a double team on the final possession. The Wizards knocked the first out of bounds, and Delon Wright stole the second to seal the victory.
NUGGETS 99, PELICANS 98
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Nikola Jokic capped a 25-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist performance in his return from hamstring tightness with a go-ahead floater in the paint with 16.9 seconds left, helping Denver beat undermanned New Orleands.
Jamal Murray scored 25 points for the Nuggets, who led for nearly the entire game and by as many as 19 points before New Orleans stormed back in the fourth quarter to take its only lead of the second half at 98-97 with 36.9 seconds left.
After Jokic put Denver back in front, the Pelicans had three shots to win it in the final seconds before losing their fifth straight.
CJ McCollum scored 20 points for New Orleans, but missed all eight of his 3-point shots.
SUNS 128, HORNETS 97
PHOENIX (AP) – Cam Johnson scored 24 points, Dario Saric added 19 and Phoenix beat Charlotte for its fourth straight victory.
The Suns built a 30-point lead midway through the second quarter, though Charlotte cut it to 58-50 early in the third. Phoenix rebuilt its lead to 98-77 by the fourth before cruising to the comfortable victory.
Johnson was hot from the outset, scoring 16 points in the first quarter by making all six of his shots, including four 3-pointers. The forward was playing in his third game since returning from a knee injury that kept him out more than two months. He needed just 18 minutes on the floor to do his damage, shooting 9 of 11 from the field and 6 of 7 on 3s.
Terry Rozier scored 19 points for Charlotte.
KNICKS 105, CAVALIERS 103
NEW YORK (AP) – Julius Randle had 36 points and 13 rebounds, and his eighth 3-pointer snapped a tie with 2:07 left as New York beat Cleveland.
Donovan Mitchell had 24 points, eight assists and eight rebounds in his return to the Cavaliers from a three-game absence with a left groin strain. But he had was stopped on his last three attempts at the rim and was slow to get up after falling to the ground in an effort to save Cleveland’s final possession, saying afterward his legs cramped.
RJ Barrett added 16 points and Jalen Brunson had 14 for the Knicks, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Jarrett Allen had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland, while Darius Garland added 22 points and six assists.
PACERS 116, BULLS 110
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Myles Turner and Bennedict Mathurin each scored 26 points and Mathurin’s short, go-ahead basket with 29.1 seconds left helped Indiana close out a rally from 21 points down to beat Chicago.
Indiana snapped a season-worst seven-game losing streak to stay ahead of 10th-place Chicago in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers played again without injured point guard Tyrese Haliburton and this time without his replacement, Andrew Nembhard, who was sick.
T.J. McConnell had 20 points and 10 assists for the Pacers. DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points for Chicago.
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