Basketball superstar LeBron James and Anthony Davis came up clutch in the dying embers of the NBA clash against the Memphis Grizzlies to help the Los Angeles Lakers record a 94-92 win on Tuesday.
James and Davis scored 26 points each as the defending champions recorded their fourth consecutive away victory this season, extending their record to 6-2 in the competition, according to AFP.
James, who recorded 11 rebounds and seven assists, scored 21 of his points in the second half to ensure the Lakers reigned on a night when both teams struggled with their shooting.
The Lakers were trailing 77-79 with 5:18 minutes remaining in the game as Davis sunk a three-pointer to put the champions ahead with himself and James taking control of the match form that point on.
Davis stole possession and set up a James dunk, and later put in a block to keep the momentum as the duo combined for 15 straight Lakers points.
With 3.5 remaining, Kyle Kuzma netted, from a James feed, to stretch a three-point lead to five, and Devin Brooks’ three pointer at the death wasn’t enough for the Grizzlies.
“We were able to close the game out, get some timely stops and some timely buckets,” James said.
Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving made up for Kevin Durant’s absence as he scored 29 points in the Brooklyn Nets’ 130-96 thumping of the Utah Jazz.
Irving netted his first nine shots as the Nets established a 21-point lead in the first quarter. He registered six rebounds, five assists and three steals to help his side cope with the loss of Spencer Dinwiddie, sidelined due to a knee ligament injury and Durant, who has been ruled out over COVID-19 safety regulations after coming in contact with an individual who tested positive.
Nets head coach Steve Nash shook up his starting line-up, and center Jarrett Allen, making his first start of the season, outplayed Jazz big man Rudy Gobert as he amassed 19 points, 18 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
Caris LeVert, who added 24 points off the bench for the Nets, said Irving’s performance was no surprise to his teammates.
“We kind of expect that from him,” he said.
“That was a great start. He took the shots the defense gave him, and he was very efficient out there, great at leading as well, talking to us on the defensive end, talking us through plays, talking to us with the new group he was out there with … it looked very seamless out there. I think Ky should get a lot of credit for that.”
The San Antonio Spurs snapped a four-game losing streak with a 116-113 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Australian Patty Mills drained a career-high eight three-pointers as he led the Spurs with 27 points off the bench.
Dejounte Murray scored 21 points, Rudy Gay had 16 and LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 14 for the Spurs, who tied a franchise record with 20 three-pointers.
But it was a closer-run thing than the Spurs might have liked. Up by 15 points with 5:15 left to play, the Spurs saw their lead cut to two points with 13 seconds left.
Clippers star Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 30 points, but he couldn’t get his fadeaway three-pointer to tie the game with two seconds remaining to fall.
The Nuggets, fueled by Nikola Jokic’s 35 points, won a back-and-forth battle with the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-116 in Denver.
The Nuggets led by as many as 18 points in the first half, but the Timberwolves battled back to take an eight-point lead in the third quarter.
The visitors were up by seven early in the fourth when the Nuggets put together a 15-0 scoring run to turn the tide.