LOS ANGELES – LeBron James had 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to win his showdown with fellow All-Star Game captain Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-103 on Friday night in a clash of the NBA’s conference leaders.
Anthony Davis scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers split their season series with the league-leading Bucks (53-10).
Los Angeles was carried to its 10th win in 11 games overall largely by a superb performance from James, who scored 14 points in the third quarter and then kept the hosts ahead down the stretch. James capped his night with a one-handed spinning dunk with 27 seconds left, sparking the last of many “M-V-P!” chants for him at Staples Center.
The Lakers took the lead for good on James’ 3-pointer with 8:59 left in the third quarter. James scored his 34,000th career point during the game, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as the only players to hit the mark.
Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks, who have lost two of three games for the first time since October. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17 points for Milwaukee, which has still won seven of nine overall.
Antetokounmpo finished strong with a 12-point fourth quarter after two fairly quiet periods, but Milwaukee just couldn’t catch up to the Lakers in the waning minutes of one of the NBA’s marquee regular-season matchups.
The first half was largely dominated by physical defense and the 25 personal fouls called by the officials.
Los Angeles made an 18-0 run in the third quarter to take their first significant lead at 68-55.
Pelicans 110, Heat 104
In New Orleans, Brandon Ingram overcame a poor shooting performance that included missing 15 of his first 17 shots by scoring five points in the final 62 seconds to help the Pelicans hold off Miami.
Jrue Holiday led New Orleans with 20 points, while Josh Hart came off the bench to finish with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Zion Williamson added 17 points and Lonzo Ball added 16.
The Heat got a game-high 26 points from Jimmy Butler and 24 from rookie Duncan Robinson, who had eight 3-pointers and has 233 this season — the most by an undrafted player during a single season in NBA history.
Wizards 118, Hawks 112
In Washington, Bradley Beal scored 35 points and the Wizards held off Atlanta.
Beal was 13 of 21 from the field, going 7 of 10 from 3-point range. Washington canned 15 of 31 3-point attempts. Davis Bertans added 17 points, and Jerome Robinson had 14 for the hosts. Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura finished with three points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Hawks rookie Cam Reddish scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting.
In Other Games
Pacers 108, Bulls 102
Thunder 126, Knicks 103
Mavericks 121, Grizzlies 96
Suns 127, Trail Blazers 117
Nets 139, Spurs 120
Magic 132, Timberwolves 118
Jazz 99, Celtics 94