LOS ANGELES – LeBron James hit a career-high nine 3-pointers for 46 points, but the Los Angeles Clippers hit 19 of their own 3-pointers en route to a comfortable 133-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
James scored at least 40 points against the Clippers for the first time in his 20-year career, giving him 40 points against all 30 NBA teams. James hit his career-high ninth 3-pointer 6:45 to play, setting a career long distance record in his 1,404th game.
“Tonight I was able to make some shots and try to help us stay in the game,” James said. “But the Clippers are really good. It’s exceptionally good when they throw three balls and they did it today.”
Indeed, James’ prowess wasn’t enough: the Lakers never caught up with him after being 23 points behind, and James spent the last minutes on the bench after the Clippers pulled away with a 10th straight win over their neighbors. arena in the city center. Los Angeles since former Lakers guard Tyrone Liu took over as Clippers coach.
James also accelerated the pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career-high by scoring his 101st 40-point game including the postseason. He is only 177 points behind Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), allowing him to potentially break the record at the end of the Lakers’ upcoming five-game road swing rather than at home in Los Angeles.
“I got to this place without even thinking about it,” James said. “Just being in the moment, trying to play the game right. Even tonight, even though I was throwing the ball, I was still trying to pass it to my guys to make sure they felt some kind of rhythm. I’ve always played like this.”
Paul George had 27 points and nine rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard added 25 points in the Clippers’ third straight win. The Clippers have never fallen behind, largely because they hit a season-high 15 3-pointers in the first half and hit a season-high 77 in the first half.
“(James) had a great shot, but we weathered the storm,” Liu said. “When they cut[the lead]down to 10 and LeBron was on fire like that… we just tried to take everyone else out and get him to go one on one.”
Norman Powell scored 22 points and Reggie Jackson added 19 points for the Clippers.
“We made them take really hard shots and they just did them,” Lakers coach Darwin Ham said. “Against such a great team, you have to play almost perfectly to overcome this deficit.”
Russell Westbrook scored 17 points and Thomas Bryant added 15 points for the Lakers that could bring back Anthony Davis on Wednesday after a 20-game absence with a right leg injury.
“The possibilities are endless,” Ham said with a smirk.
Rui Hachimura was sitting on the Lakers’ bench in street clothes a day after they acquired him from Washington in exchange for Kendrick Nunn. According to Ham, on Wednesday the Japanese big man will be in shape.
Clippers: Marcus Morris left the game with bruised ribs. Liu did not have an update after the game. … John Wall missed his sixth game in a row with a stomach injury. … Luke Kennard missed his ninth consecutive game with a calf injury.
Lakers: Defensemen Lonnie Walker and Austin Reeves are also close to recovering from injuries, Ham said. Reeves has not played since January 4, and Walker has been out since December 28. … Westbrook scored 24,000 points in the first quarter, becoming the 28th player in NBA history to reach the mark.
Clippers: to host San Antonio Thursday night.
Lakers: hosts San Antonio Wednesday night.
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