LeBron James knocks down 9 triples as Lakers sink Nets

By Thomson Reuters Mar 31, 2024 | 9:43 PM

LeBron James tied a season high with 40 points and matched a career high by hitting nine 3-pointers as the Los Angeles Lakers raced out to a big lead and never trailed in a 116-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night in New York.

The Lakers (42-33) won for the sixth time in seven games and bounced back nicely from being held to 90 points in Friday’s 19-point loss at Indiana.

James notched his third 40-point game of the season by shooting 13-for-17 from the floor. He went 9-for-10 from 3-point range.

Anthony Davis added 24 points and 14 rebounds as the ninth-place Lakers moved two games in front of the Warriors in the Western Conference. Golden State was playing the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Rui Hachimura supplied 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who shot 54.5 percent from the floor. D’Angelo Russell contributed 18 points and Austin Reaves chipped in 12 as the Lakers got 114 points from their starters.

Cam Thomas tried to keep pace with James by scoring 30 points, but the Nets (29-46) saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Trendon Watford added 15 points and Dennis Schroder finished with 14 as the Nets shot 42.4 percent overall and 33.3 percent (12-for-36) from beyond the arc after sinking 25 threes on Friday against the Chicago Bulls.

The Nets missed their first 11 shots, and the Lakers took a 17-0 lead on a layup by Reaves with 6:04 remaining in the first quarter. After Brooklyn scored its first points with 5:39 left, the Lakers led by as many as 24 late in the period and took a 31-11 lead into the second quarter.

Brooklyn trailed by 12 after Mikal Bridges hit a 3 with 6:26 to go in the second, but the Lakers ended the first half with a 20-9 run for a 67-44 lead at the break.

Los Angeles took a trio of 26-point leads early in the third, but by the end of the quarter, the Nets had whittled the margin to 90-79 on a four-point play by Thomas and a putback by Watford in the final 31.5 seconds.

James hit his eighth trey while falling out of bounds into the lap of a fan in the front row for a 108-91 lead with 7:14 left in the game, and his ninth 3 pushed the advantage to 111-93 less than a minute later.

–Field Level Media