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LeBron powers Lakers to third straight OT win

Los Angeles, United States—LeBron James forced the extra session with a three-pointer and scored 25 points as the Los Angeles Lakers won their third consecutive overtime game by outlasting the slumping Oklahoma City Thunder 114-113 on Wednesday (Thursday Philippine time).

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder defender Al Horford (42) at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP
James finished with seven assists and six rebounds, Montrezl Harrell scored 20 points, Dennis Schroder contributed 19 and Kyle Kuzma added 15 for the host reigning NBA champion Lakers, who now have six straight wins.

Los Angeles played without injured star forward Anthony Davis (Achilles) for the second game in a row.

This was the third straight overtime game for the Lakers and second against the short-handed Thunder, who have lost three of their last four. Los Angeles beat the Thunder in overtime on Monday and Detroit in double overtime two nights earlier.

Al Horford had 25 points, Kenrich Williams scored 24 points, Luguentz Dort had 17 and Hamidou Diallo collected 15 points and 13 rebounds in the loss. The Thunder were missing their best player, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is out with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Devin Booker drained clutch free throws with 32 seconds left as the Phoenix Suns overcame a 47-point performance by back-to-back MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo with a 125-124 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Antetokounmpo also had 11 rebounds and five assists while shooting 15-of-23 from the floor en route to a season-high scoring performance. He put up a desperation 20-foot jumper at the buzzer to try and win it, but the ball bounced off the back of the rim as the Bucks had their season-best five-game win streak snapped.

Chris Paul added 28 points and seven assists as Phoenix earned its fourth straight win and its seventh in the past eight games.

Khris Middleton had 18 points and 11 assists and Bryn Forbes scored all 17 of his points in the first half for Milwaukee, in front of a pandemic limited crowd of 1,400 mask-wearing fans in Arizona.

Elsewhere, Luka Doncic scored 28 points with 10 assists and 10 rebounds Wednesday as the Dallas Mavericks rallied for a 118-117 NBA victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Doncic notched his league-leading seventh triple-double of the season and the Mavericks rallied from a nine-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter as they continue to try to fight their way up from the depths of the Western Conference.

A Doncic three-pointer gave the Mavericks their first lead since the second quarter, 104-101, with 5:29 to play.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Jalen Brunson added 11 of his 21 in the final frame for Dallas.

The contest opened with the first playing of the national anthem at a Mavs home game this season—the league instructing teams to maintain the tradition of the pre-game anthem a day after Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he “decided not to play it and see what the response was.”

The anthem has been a touchy topic since becoming the focal point for protests of social and racial injustice.

The Los Angeles Clippers shook off a slow start to beat the Timberwolves 119-112 in Minnesota, avoiding their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points with eight rebounds and five assists and Lou Williams added a season-high 27 points off the bench for the Clippers, who were without scoring threat Paul George.

The Clippers welcomed starting guard Patrick Beverley back to action after an eight-game injury absence.

Naz Reid led Minnesota with 23 points off the bench. Malik Beasley scored 21 and Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 18 in his first contest back from a 13-game absence since announcing in January he had tested positive for Covid-19. The virus had earlier claimed several family members, including his mother.

Towns said he felt “guilty” that he had access to treatments that aren’t easily available to most Americans.

“There’s such mental strain during all this time, feeling of guilt because of the resources I have, and I wish I could spread these resources to as many people as possible,” Towns said. “Guilt, just a lot of demons I haven’t dealt with that I put to the back burner.”

Nets power past Pacers

In New York, the Brooklyn Nets answered critics of their recent defensive efforts in a 104-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

The Nets held the Pacers to 18 points in the first quarter and just 12 in the second to take a 62-30 lead into halftime.

They led by as many as 36 points—a lead Indiana whittled to 14 in the fourth quarter before the Nets clamped down again.

In Chicago, Zach LaVine scored a team-high 46 points, Coby White tallied 30, and the Bulls established a team record with 25 three-pointers in a 129-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

LaVine and White became the first teammates in league history to make at least eight three-pointers during the same game as Chicago finished 25-for-47 from beyond the arc in their record-setting performance.

Topics: LeBron James , Los Angeles Lakers , Oklahoma City Thunder , Giannis Antetokounmpo , Milwaukee Bucks , Phoenix Suns , Devin Booker
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