LeBron stars as Lakers beat Bucks in NBA
LeBron James scored a season-high 34 points in the opener of a seven-game road trip, helping the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-106.
LA (12-4) bounced back on Thursday night after blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of a two-point loss to Golden State on Monday, while the Bucks (9-6) dropped their second straight.
The Lakers shot 19 of 37 from three-point range, with James going 6-of-10 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 7-of-10 for 23 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, but also committed nine turnovers, while Jrue Holiday scored 22 points and Khris Middleton 20 for the Bucks.
This game pitted the reigning NBA champion Lakers against a Bucks team that has posted the league's best regular-season record each of the last two years.
It also featured the top two vote-getters in the 2019-20 MVP balloting. Antetokounmpo won the award for a second straight season while James, a four-time MVP, finished a distant second.
"It's never been about individual (honours)," James said.
"It's all about the team success. That's all that matters ... I just want to play well and help our team versus any opponent. That's what it's all about."
The Lakers led 63-57 after a first half that featured seven ties and nine lead changes.
Caldwell-Pope and James opened the third quarter with consecutive three-pointers that extended the lead en route to extending their franchise-best road start to 8-0.
In Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 36 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Utah past New Orleans 129-118 for their seventh consecutive victory.
Mitchell made 11 of 19 field-goal attempts and drained six of eight from three-point range. With his fifth of the night from beyond the arc, the All-Star guard became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 600 treys, getting there in 240 games.
Mike Conley tallied 20 points and six assists and Aussie Joe Ingles chimed in with eight points and nine assists for the Jazz (11-4) who moved to within half a game of the Western Conference-leading Lakers.
Zion Williamson had 27 points for the Pelicans (5-9), who lost for the seventh time in eight outings.
RJ Barrett had a career-high 28 points and the New York Knicks (8-8) beat Golden State 119-104 in San Francisco.
Stephen Curry scored 30 points with five three-pointers but shot just 9-of-19 as the Warriors dropped to 8-7.
Draymond Green was ejected late in the first-half on a disputed technical when he appeared to be yelling at a teammate.
The game featured a combined 55 personal fouls.
"Draymond, we caught a break when he got thrown out," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails