The Los Angeles Lakers trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter before storming back to defeat the Indiana Pacers 112-111 on the road.
Los Angeles’ defense let them down early on Thursday as they put up 35 points in the first quarter and another 32 in the second, going into the break trailing 67-54.
The Lakers were finally able to hold the Pacers under 30 points in a 30-29 third frame, before their defense woke up in the final period and held the home side to just 15.
The visiting team didn’t claim their first lead of the game until LeBron James drained a three-pointer to jump ahead 108-106 with 2:35 left, but a jump shot by rookie Andrew Nembhard put the Pacers up by one with less not a moment. play.
With the game on the line, Anthony Davis drained a clutch fadeaway post over elite defensive center Myles Turner to regain the lead, and although the Lakers left the door open with a pair of missed free throws from Pat Beverley, game- potential winner Buddy Hield. he was off the mark thanks to Beverley’s smothery defence.
It was a gutsy comeback to give the Lakers their second win in a row, led by Davis’ 31 points on 13-of-27 shooting with 14 rebounds and two blocks.
Meanwhile, James was efficient with 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, adding seven rebounds and seven assists. He is now 62 points from tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record.
For the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton enjoyed a strong return from injury after three weeks on the sidelines, leading his team in points (26) and assists (12) after being named to his first All-Star team earlier in the day.
Jokic toys with the Warriors
Back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic continued his march toward a three-peat as he led the Golden State Warriors to a 134-117 victory at the Denver Nuggets.
Jokic finished with 22 points on nine-of-13 shooting with 16 assists and 14 rebounds. Over the past 17 games, he has only finished with fewer than nine assists once, and no player has averaged more than his 11.9 assists over the past 15 games.
It was also another strong performance from Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, scoring 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting with eight assists and five rebounds. Over his last five outings, Murray is averaging 27.6 points and 7.2 assists.
The Nuggets sit four games clear atop the Western Conference at 36-16, while the Warriors are 26-26 in ninth place.
Mavericks grab it as Doncic leaves injured
The Dallas Mavericks led the New Orleans Pelicans with 31 points during the second quarter, but ended up getting pushed all the way in a 111-106 victory.
Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic had 27 points in the first half, and worked his way up to 31 early in the third period before suffering a heel injury from a hard fall, ending his night.
The Mavericks were leading by 28 when he left the game, and from that point on the Pelicans closed the contest on a 50-27 run. They eventually came up short after a controversial refereeing error in the final seconds allowed them to shoot for the final.
It was the Pelicans’ 10th straight loss as they await Zion Williamson’s return from a groin injury, and the Mavericks improved to fifth in the West at 28-25.