NBA

LeBron scores 46 as Clippers continue domination over Lakers, Jokic records 15th triple-double

By Sports Desk January 25, 2023

LeBron James scored 46 points but the Los Angeles Clippers continued their recent dominance over the Los Angeles Lakers with a 133-115 victory on Tuesday.

The Clippers have now won 10 straight against the Lakers and are 36-9 in recent seasons. The win moves the Clippers up to fifth spot in the west with a 26-24 record, while the Lakers are 22-26 and 13th in the west.

Paul George top scored for the Clippers, who made 19 three-pointers at 50 per cent as a team, leading the way with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting while adding nine rebounds and four assists.

Kawhi Leonard chipped in 25 points with nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks as the Clippers found form with a third straight win, and they could receive further reinforcements soon as Luke Kennard (calf) and John Wall (abdominal strain) close in on returns.

James was exceptional for the Lakers, shooting 16-of-29 from the field with nine-of-14 triples, along with eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block.

The four-time NBA MVP's 46-point haul moves him to within 177 of tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record at 38,387.

James appeared set for a 50-point game, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, before the Clippers put the game to bed on an 8-0 run and send James to the bench for good with five minutes remaining.

Another triple-double as Jokic calls game

Nikola Jokic scored the game-winner with 16.2 seconds left as he recorded his 15th triple-double of the season in the Denver Nuggets' 99-98 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Jokic and Jamal Murray were disconnected down the stretch before linking up for the crucial two-pointer, capping the Serbian's game with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, adding further weight to his claims for a third straight MVP, which would be the first occurrence since Larry Bird from 1984-86.

Murray added 25 points on 11-of-21 shooting with seven assists for Denver, while C.J. McCollum top scored for the Pels with 20 points, but he went zero-of-eight from three-point range.

Celtics suffer back-to-back defeats

The short-handed Miami Heat fought back from 14 points down to inflict back-to-back defeats on the Boston Celtics with a 98-95 victory.

Bam Adebayo top scored with 30 points and 15 rebounds for Miami, who were without Jimmy Butler due to a back injury. The Heat squared the game up at 87-87 in the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run, before going on to win their sixth straight game at home.

Jayson Tatum, who scored 31 points with 14 rebounds, threw a pass that was intercepted by Tyler Herro in the final minute, before Payton Pritchard missed a desperation three-point attempt on the buzzer.

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    Golden State have hit their stride in February to move back into playoff contention in the West, despite missing veteran point guard Paul.

    The 38-year-old was traded to the Warriors by the Washington Wizards at the start of the season, having previously been moved on by the Phoenix Suns, but had been restricted to 32 games and 11 starts prior to returning against the Wizards.

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    Those options in reserve were especially useful to Kerr in this 123-112 win as superstar starter Stephen Curry was held scoreless through the first half.

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    "What a luxury to come off the bench with Chris Paul and Klay Thompson," coach Kerr said. "That's crazy."

    "You've got two Hall of Famers in the backcourt coming off the bench," Thompson added. "That's such a rare feat, so we take pride in that.

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    Kerr continued: "We've been playing pretty well over the last month or so, but we've really been looking forward to getting Chris back.

    "You could see why tonight. He's a plus-17 in 21 minutes, always in control of the game. The way we closed the third quarter was really important, and he was at the helm."

    Paul is not getting carried away just yet but acknowledged that strength in depth and affirmed his commitment to taking on whatever role Kerr asks of him.

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    "We have so much depth, so many different ways that we can play, that it's going to take us a little while to figure it out. But obviously, you want to figure it out and win at the same time.

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    Max Strus connected on a 59-foot heave at the buzzer, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to a wild 121-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

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    The Celtics, who lead the NBA in both 3-point makes and attempts this season, shot just 5 of 22 from beyond the arc, both season lows.

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    Mykhailo Mudryk is "the most talented and unique player in the world", and patient work on the training ground will see Chelsea get the best out of the winger.

    That is the view of Serhiy Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive who struck the £89million deal which took Mudryk from Ukraine to Stamford Bridge last January.

    Like many of the big-money recruits of the Todd Boehly era, Mudryk has struggled for consistency since arriving in west London, after emerging as one of Europe's hottest prospects at Shakhtar.

    Between the start of 2021-22 and his move to the Premier League, Mudryk averaged a goal involvement every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian top flight, scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists in just 23 appearances during that spell.

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