LeBron has triple-double, Lakers defeat Nets

The Los Angeles Lakers handed the Brooklyn Nets their fifth straight loss by defeating them 128-113 at Barclays Center on Thursday night. 

The Lakers led by as many as 10 points in the opening quarter, but Brooklyn climbed back and cut the deficit to 38-35 entering the second. That would be a trend throughout the match. The third quarter saw the Lakers with a 90-77 lead, only for the Nets to put together a 12-2 run and make it a one-possession game once again. 

The Lakers were finally able to pull away in the fourth quarter, entering with a 10-point lead and building from there. The Western Conference leaders’ largest lead was 25 points.

While Anthony Davis was able to start despite recently tweaking his bruised gluteus maximus, starting center JaVale McGee (flu-like symptoms) was kept out. Dwight Howard started for McGee and recorded his fifth double-double of the season.

Just before tipoff, Davis and James were named to the 2020 All-Star Game. James will be a captain alongside Milwaukee Bucks reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, while Davis was named a starter.

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James was the game’s leading scorer and notched his 10th triple-double of the 2019-20 campaign.

Only Dallas Mavericks reigning Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic has more (12).

The Nets were without veteran reserve center DeAndre Jordan (dislocated finger), but All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving was available after missing Monday night’s matchup versus Philadelphia with hamstring tightness and a 26-game absence before that due to a right shoulder impingement. 

It marked the first time Irving and James, who won an NBA title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, have faced off since the former joined the Nets last summer.

Los Angeles improved to 36-9 and cushioned its lead atop the Western Conference, while the Nets dropped to 18-25 as they cling to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

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