James triple-double fuels Cavs over Lakers
Cleveland star LeBron James tied Larry Bird for sixth all time in NBA triple-doubles Thursday as the Cavaliers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 121-112.
“King” James scored 25 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the 59th triple-double of his 15-season career.
Cleveland’s Kevin Love led all scorers with 28 points, while Jose Calderon added a season high 17.
Lonzo Ball, the Lakers rookie playing against James for the first time, finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Brandon Ingram scored 26 points to lead the young, energetic Lakers, who seized an early lead before the Cavaliers found their range.
Cleveland scored 100 points for the 22nd consecutive game, winning for the 16th time in 17 contests.
James helped put the game away, his dunk with 2:20 remaining and short shot with 1:38 to play putting the Cavs up 117-108.
“Tonight the difficult challenge was the way they were kind of spreading the floor, running up and down,” James said. “But if we defend, if we share the ball, move the ball, we’re going to give ourselves a good chance to win every night.”
In other early games, the New York Knicks lost star forward Kristaps Porzingis with a left knee injury in the third quarter but held on for a 111-104 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn.
Although they were just across town from their Madison Square Garden Arena, for the Knicks it was a much needed road win – just their second of the season.
Courtney Lee scored a season high 27 points for the Knicks. Michael Beasley, who replaced Porzingis, added 15 points and Turkish center Enes Kanter added 13 points with nine rebounds.
The Detroit Pistons, called out by coach Stan Van Gundy after dropping their seventh straight game on Tuesday, snapped their skid with an emphatic 105-91 victory over Hawks in Atlanta.
Andre Drummond scored 12 points, pulled down 19 rebounds and handed out nine assists for the Pistons.
“It’s a little less burdensome now,” Van Gundy said of ending the losing streak that had stretched over the first two weeks of December. “Maybe we just get back to playing basketball.”
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