James hits Lakers to beat Pacers 124-116 after suspension
Indianapolis LeBron James had a 3-game tiebreaker in overtime and followed him up with a three-back break on his comeback from the first suspension of his career to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat Indiana 124-116 on Wednesday night.
James finished with 39 points on 13 of 29 shootings, six assists and five rebounds, and the Lakers were playing without Anthony Davis due to flu-like symptoms.
Sunday night in a victory in Detroit, James was kicked out of the Pistons Center, Isaiah Stewart in the face and blood drawn. The NBA suspended him a game and sat in a Lakers loss in New York on Tuesday night.
The Lakers ended their five-game run with their second win in six games.
Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana with 28 points, Chris Duarte scored 17 points, and Indiana was never late until Malik Monk 3 went green with 4:35 left.
But the Lakers certainly didn’t play a basketball tournament. Instead, the game owned all the trademarks of a pre-holiday competition at the end of a long ride — inconsistent gameplay, fouling, and sometimes bad basketball.
However, James and Co. found a way to deliver the final blow.
James made the first three in overtime with a score of 117-114 with 2:51 remaining. Aminute later, he did another job of extending the margin to six and adding a mid-range jacket before Wayne Ellington closed it. Indiana only managed one basket in the last three minutes.
Lakers: Russell Westbrook scored 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Monk got 17 points. Carmelo Anthony and Ellington added 14. … Deandre Jordan scored 11 rebounds and Dwight Howard scored 9. … Rajon Rondo and Kent Bazimore also did not play and were not in the injury report before the match.
Pacers: Brogdon added seven rebounds. … Domantas Sabonis scored 14 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists, while Miles Turner scored 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Just Holiday scored 16… Indiana was 13 of 46 in 3s… After committing only two games in the first half, the Pacers started the second half with three in a row. They ended up with 11.
Pacers forward TJ Warren continues to recover from a stress fracture in his left foot and took another significant step on Wednesday. Less than three weeks after giving up his walking boots, Warren made some spot kicks during the pre-game period, coach Rick Carlisle told reporters before the game.
“He doesn’t move much but is involved a little bit, which is very warming for us and I think he is too,” Carlisle said. “We’ll see, I think, on Tuesday where he is and then a schedule.”
Lakers: Host Sacramento on Friday night.
Pacers: Toronto hosts Friday night.
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