Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in a franchise-record 64 points on Wednesday in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 140-126 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Antetokounmpo surpassed the team record of 57 points set by Michael Redd in 2006 in a loss to the Utah Jazz. The previous career high for the Milwaukee superstar was 55 points in a victory over the Washington Wizards on Jan. 3.

He was 20 of 28 from the field in this one, 24 of 32 on free throws and had 14 rebounds.

Damian Lillard added 21 points and Bobby Portis had 13 for the Bucks, who lost to the Pacers in the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament on Thursday.

Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner each scored 22 points for Indiana, which had won four in a row, excluding a loss to the Lakers in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo was tackled by Aaron Nesmith on a play underneath with 10:10 left, setting off a brief exchange involving several players. Nesmith was called for a flagrant-1, and Nesmith and Portis were assessed technical fouls.

Embiid, 76ers deal Pistons 21st straight loss

Joel Embiid scored 30 of his 41 points in the first half as the Philadelphia 76ers sent the Detroit Pistons to their 21st straight loss, 129-11 on Wednesday to open a home-and-home series.

The Pistons, who haven’t won since Oct. 28, matched the longest losing streak in franchise history, set at the end of the 1979-80 season and the start of 1980-81. It is the sixth-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.

Only the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2013-14 76ers (26 in a row), along with the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies, the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets and the 2010-11 Charlotte Bobcats (23 straight) have lost more consecutive games in a season.

Philadelphia holds the overall mark of 28, set at the end of 2014-15 and start of 2015-16.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with a season-high 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting.

Former Piston Tobias Harris had 21 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 for the 76ers, winners of four straight.

Davis, Lakers hold off Wembanyama, Spurs

Anthony Davis scored 37 points and the Los Angeles Lakers overcame Victor Wembanyama’s big night in a 122-119 victory, extending the Spurs’ franchise-record losing streak to 18.

Davis rolled his left ankle in the opening seconds but refused to exit and went on to shoot 10 for 15 from the field and score 24 points in the first half.

Taurean Prince had 17 points and Austin Reaves added 15 to help the Lakers win for the fifth time in six games despite missing LeBron James, who sat out the first of two straight games in San Antonio because of a left calf injury.

Wembanyama had 30 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, but the Spurs have remained winless since Nov. 2. He became the first rookie with 30 points, 10 boards and six blocks in a game since Spurs superstar Tim Duncan in 1998.

The NBA has suspended Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green indefinitely.

The league announced the suspension on Wednesday, saying Green "will be required to meet certain league and team conditions before he returns to play."

The penalty comes less than 24 hours after Green was ejected for hitting Jusuf Nurkic in the Warriors' 119-116 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. The incident occurred in the third quarter when the two got tangled up, and Green struck Nurkic in the face. He received a Flagrant 2 foul on the play, and was promptly ejected for the 18th time in his career.

This marks Green's second suspension of the season after he was given a five-game ban by the NBA for putting Minnesota Timberwolves Rudy Gobert in a headlock on November 14.

Operations chief Joe Dumars said Green's "repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts" were considered in determining the severity of the penalty.

The suspension begins immediately.

 

LeBron James says watching his son Bronny make his college debut just five months after he suffered a cardiac arrest meant "everything" to him and his family.

Bronny James was found to have a congenital heart defect after suffering a cardiac arrest during a workout at the University of Southern California in July.

Having recently been cleared for full-contact practice, the 19-year-old made his debut for the Trojans on Sunday, collecting four points, three rebounds and two assists in an 84-79 overtime loss to Long Beach State.

After helping the Los Angeles Lakers win the inaugural NBA in-season tournament on Saturday, LeBron James returned home to take in his son's debut, later describing it as a special moment. 

"It was everything for my family," the NBA's all-time leading scorer said. "It was just an emotional, draining day, from the time we all woke up to the time the buzzer hit zeros.

"That moment was everything for us. To be there, to see the first person out of our family, out of the James gang, grace a college campus and a college floor… that was pretty cool.

"I think the most important thing, who cares about the win or the loss, the kid was standing tall and standing strong at the end of the game.

"That is a blessing in its own right, and that is a win. He's won at life, and everything else at this point is extra credit."

James senior was back on the court himself on Tuesday, with his 33-point haul not enough for the Lakers as they returned to regular-season action with a 127-125 road loss against the Dallas Mavericks. 

The Lakers have two more road games this week, facing the struggling San Antonio Spurs in a double header before returning home to take on the New York Knicks next Monday. 

Nikola Jokic accepted he "crossed the line" after being ejected from the Denver Nuggets' road win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, a decision which prompted boos from the opposing fans. 

Jokic was ejected with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter, but Reggie Jackson stepped up with a team-high 25 points as Denver rallied in his absence for a 114-106 win.

The two-time NBA MVP was tossed after yelling at official Mousa Dagher while asking for a foul call, with ESPN reporting that he told Dagher: "Call the foul, mother******". 

The pool report said Jokic was thrown out for "profane language that warranted an ejection", and while Jokic accepted he was in the wrong, he said other officials would not have called a technical for that offence.

"Sometimes it's not even a technical," Jokic said after the game. "I crossed the line, I understand, but sometimes that word doesn't cross the line. It is what it is."

Jokic's ejection led to boos from the Chicago crowd, and the Bulls were expecting a large contingent of Serbian fans to be in attendance on Jokic's only visit to United Center this regular season.

"It's the second-biggest Serbian population here," Jokic pointed out. "Belgrade is the first, and Chicago is the second. So, maybe they came to see me!"

While Denver coach Michael Malone was pleased to see Jokic's team-mates step up, he said the team must ensure that he stays in games for the duration.

"I think everybody was surprised it was a one-tech toss," Malone said. "Maybe I have to do a better job because if he's getting fouled or he thinks he's getting fouled, let me take the tech.  

"That's my job as a head coach because I don't want him being put in that position where he is getting thrown out. It's not good for him and more importantly it's not good for the team.

"We can talk about how great our bench was tonight, but in the big picture, we need Nikola available. He knows that, and we just have to work on how we engage and how we communicate with the referees."

Jokic was not the subject of the only high-profile ejection across the NBA on Tuesday, with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green tossed for the third time this season in a 119-116 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Green was ejected in the third quarter after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul for hitting Jusuf Nurkic in the face, with the incident coming less than a month after he was banned for five games for putting the Minnesota Timberwolves' Rudy Gobert in a headlock.

Green must now wait on a league review to discover whether he will face another suspension, and he apologised for catching Nurkic in the aftermath of Golden State's loss.

"I am not one to apologise for things I do, but I do apologise to Jusuf because I didn't intend to hit him," Green said. "I sell calls with my arms. I was selling the call, I swung and unfortunately I hit him."

While Suns coach Frank Vogel called Green's behaviour "reckless" and "dangerous", the 33-year-old insisted he didn't intend to strike Nurkic.

"If I intended to do that, then I would feel awful about not being there," Green added. "But my intentions were just to sell the foul.

"You guys have known me long enough, if I intended to do something, I am not apologising. But I did make contact with him, so I do apologise. It's a hard hit."

Tyronn Lue believes the Los Angeles Clippers are "trending in the right direction".

The Clippers overcame the Sacramento Kings 119-99 on Tuesday to make it five straight wins.

Lue's team have now won 10 of their last 13 games, since a six-game losing streak following James Harden's arrival in a big trade from the Philadelphia 76ers.

And Lue feels his team are starting to show just how much quality they have.

"The biggest thing for me is [the players are] just staying with it," Lue said.

"I think early on it was tough for us just trying to figure out how we wanted to play, trying to figure out rotations and all the different things and how James, Paul George, Kawhi [Leonard] and Russell [Westbrook] all play together.

"We still got a long way to go, but we're trending in the right direction. We're doing a lot of good things and we still just got to stay with it and continue to put in the work.

"It's just chemistry, playing together, getting clarity, knowing what to expect coming into games. I think that's what the biggest thing is.

"I know we had a rough start, but we’re just staying the course. I give our players credit just for every single day coming in, every shoot around, every practice, working to get better and trying to understand and find out how they can make each other better."

The Clippers did lose George to groin soreness, though they have Leonard in excellent form, as he took his points total over the last three games to 106.

"It's just chemistry, playing together, getting clarity, knowing what to expect coming into games," said Leonard.

"I think that's what the biggest thing is."

Luka Doncic said "everything hurts" after he battled through the pain to propel the Dallas Mavericks to victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

Doncic finished with 33 points and 17 assists as the Mavericks defeated LeBron James' Lakers – fresh from their in-season tournament victory last weekend – 127-125.

It marked the second win in as many nights for Dallas, though talisman Doncic had been listed as questionable following Monday's win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

"I don't know how I played," Doncic said.

"I slept very little today. Everything hurts. I'm getting old, man, but we got two back-to-back wins, which is amazing, especially against a team like the Lakers.

"So I'm really proud of these guys."

Speaking to TNT Sports, Doncic added: "You give your best, you want to stay on the court.

"This is an amazing team win, man. Back-to-back, we've got so many guys out, but everybody stepped up, everybody played hard."

Doncic also shared a moment with James, who also had 33 points, at the end of the game.

"It's amazing, the way he talks with me," Doncic said. "One of the best, it's a great relationship. I'm glad, coming from Slovenia, that I can play games like this against LeBron. It's special."

The Mavs needed Doncic to step up, with Kyrie Irving, Maxi Kleber, Josh Green and Derrick Jones Jr all out injured.

"Anytime you play a guy like Luka that's so talented, so good passing the ball, but obviously scores it as well, it makes it tough," Lakers guard Austin Reaves said.

"That's the challenge when you have a guy like that on the other team that you're trying to slow down."

Draymond Green was ejected again and the Phoenix Suns got 32 points from Devin Booker in a 119-116 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. 

Green was tossed in the third quarter after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul for hitting Phoenix’s Jusuf Nurkic in the face.

The incident came less than a month after Green was suspended five games by the NBA for putting Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert into a headlock during an altercation in November.

Bradley Beal scored 16 points in his return from a back injury and the Suns won without Kevin Durant, who missed his second straight game with a left ankle sprain.

 

Exum gives Mavericks big lift

Luka Dončić had 33 points and 17 assists and Dante Exum made five of his career-best seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Dallas Mavericks won their fourth straight game, 127-125 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

With Kyrie Irving sidelined again by a bruised right foot, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 32 points, including five of Dallas’ 21 3-pointers, and Grant Williams chipped in 19 points.

Anthony Davis tallied 37 points and 11 rebounds, while LeBron James had 33 points, nine assists and eight boards as the Lakers’ season-best four-game winning streak was snapped.

This was the first game for the Lakers after their NBA Cup-clinching victory over Indiana in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Exum finished with a season-high 26 points, going 5 of 7 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter to help the Mavs stay ahead.

 

Clippers’ Leonard continues scoring binge

Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points in three quarters and the Los Angeles Clippers cruised to their fifth straight win, 119-98 over the Sacramento Kings.

Leonard scored 14 points in the third quarter, including the Clippers’ final seven, to extend their lead to 99-70.

He has 106 points on 36-of-56 shooting – 11 of 19 from 3-point range – with 15 rebounds and 13 assists in his last three games.

James Harden had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds to help Los Angeles win for the 10th time in 13 games.

Keegan Murray led Sacramento with 17 points.

Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams conceded a franchise-record losing streak "hurts like you can't believe", although the San Antonio Spurs face a similar plight of their own.

Williams' Pistons were 131-123 losers against the Indiana Pacers on Monday as Detroit fell to their 20th straight loss in NBA.

That marks the worst single-season losing run in Detroit's franchise history and the longest in NBA records since the Houston Rockets fell to 20 straight defeats in 2020-21.

The Pistons have lost 21 in a row before, although that came between the end of the 1979-80 season and the start of the 1980-81 campaign, but Williams was somewhat encouraged with his team's showing against the Pacers.

"As much as this losing hurts us, and it hurts like you can't believe, I see a lot of growth," Williams said.

"I'm encouraged by some of the things we saw tonight. We just need to build on them."

Williams suggested the Pistons' approach towards halftime was their downfall as the Pacers' Bennedict Mathurin added five of his 30-point game in a 9-0 run to close the second quarter.

"I thought the way we closed to half-time was something that kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit," Williams added.

"We're still learning that everything we do in the meat of the game has an effect on the end."

Cade Cunningham and Ausar Thompson were rare bright sparks, scoring 23 and 20 points respectively for the Pistons, whose 20-game run equalled the sixth-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history,

San Antonio have endured similar woes, too, setting their own franchise record after a 17th consecutive defeat following a 93-82 at the hands of the Rockets.

Victor Wembanyama led the way with 15 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks but was 1-of-6 on his three-point attempts for the Spurs, whose offense went missing in their time of need.

"They played their ass off. They played a great game," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "You've got to make a shot in the NBA. You can't shoot five for 41 from three.

"They did a hell of a job defensively, in that regard. Really proud of them. But just feel badly that it's hard to know what to do when you're missing that many shots. It just makes it very, very difficult."

Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell combined to go for just 1-of-18 from deep, although the latter believes San Antonio's fortunes will soon change.

"If we could have made a couple more shots, it would've been a totally different game," Vassell said. "I like where we're going.

"We were trending in the right direction. If we would've made some shots, I think it would've been a totally different game."

Johnson echoed his team-mate's sentiment, although with an added sense of frustration after the Spurs' 82 points set a record low for any NBA side in a game this season.

"We know that we put in the work for it. We believe in each other and I wouldn't want to do it any other group than the group we got," Johnson said.

"We are a young team. We had great opportunities tonight and we had great opportunities at other games. We didn't really hit shots so we know we got to kind of hang our hats on the defensive end.

"I'm excited to get back out there Wednesday and put another great performance team-wise and hopefully get [a] win."

Kawhi Leonard impressed again as the Los Angeles Clippers won their fourth straight NBA game on Monday.

The Clippers held off the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 132-127 to record their ninth win in their last 12 games, a nice recovery from their six-game losing streak at the start of November.

Leonard now has 75 points in his last two games after scoring a team-high 34 against Portland.

There were also key contributions from Paul George (20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists) and James Harden (20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists).

Portland – playing without Deandre Ayton and Malcolm Brogdon – suffered a fourth straight loss despite a career-high 38 points from Anfernee Simons.

Asked about Leonard, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said: "The biggest thing is health and finally getting his rhythm with PG and James starting."

Los Angeles had a 14-point lead late in the first quarter but ultimately had to work hard for the victory.

The Blazers twice held a one-point lead in the closing stages of the fourth quarter having hit a season-high 19 3-pointers in the game.

"I knew it was going to be a tough game for us," added Lue, whose team are now 12-10, eighth in the Western Conference.

"Defensively, we couldn't get stops. They scored every way."

The Clippers are immediately back in action on Tuesday at home against the Sacramento Kings (13-8) to complete a back-to-back.

Leonard had a season-high 41 points in their previous win against the Utah Jazz.

"Offensively the team is in a good rhythm and that is all I care about," Leonard said.

"The ball found me and I made shots. I have played a lot of minutes over the last few games but sometimes you have to. When your best players play longer, you’ll most likely get the win.

"It is about knowing what we are doing and having clarity, using our experience, not being complacent.

"There is still a lot we’re lacking. On defense we didn't play that well. They are a team with great defenders who can turn you over a lot so we were focused on screening hard."

Harden echoed Leonard's view that there is still plenty of work to do.

"We take what the defense gives us, figure it out and attack," he said.

"If you share the ball, you get good results, but it wasn’t as easy as we’d like it to be. We don't have the luxury of overlooking opponents."

Zion Williamson delivered a season-high 36 points as the New Orleans Pelicans cooled off the NBA-leading Minnesota Timberwolves with a 121-107 victory on Monday.

CJ McCollum scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help the Pelicans pull away and bounce back from Thursday's 44-point blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals.

Minnesota entered the matchup with a league-best 17-4 record and had won six consecutive games but played without leading scorer Anthony Edwards due to a hip pointer.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley and Naz Reid all had 17 points for the Timberwolves, with Towns adding 12 rebounds. 

Minnesota never led in the second half, however, as the Pelicans ended the second quarter on a 12-3 run to take a 59-52 half-time lead.

New Orleans held a 90-86 advantage after three quarters, then opened the fourth on a 9-0 spurt capped by a McCollum 3-pointer to gain further separation.

The Pelicans also received 20 points from Brandon Ingram and 14 points and 13 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas.

Bucks bounce back with overtime win over Bulls

Giannis Antetokounmpo compiled 32 points, 12 rebounds and six assists and the Milwaukee Bucks dominated the early stages of overtime to come through with a 133-129 win over the Chicago Bulls.

After Chicago rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit to force overtime on DeMar DeRozan's jumper with 3.7 seconds left in regulation, the Bucks opened the extra session with an 8-1 run to build a 126-119 lead and never trailed thereafter.

Brook Lopez and Malik Beasley each had 19 points to help Milwaukee rebound from Thursday's loss to the Indiana Pacers in the NBA In-Season Tournament semfinals.

The Bulls had a four-game winning streak halted despite a monster performance from DeRozan, who put up 41 points and 11 assists. Coby White finished with a season-high 33 points in the loss.

Nuggets hold off Hawks to end three-game skid

Jamal Murray scored 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting and added nine rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets get back on track with a 129-122 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The reigning NBA champions withstood a career-high 40 points from Atlanta's Bogdan Bogdanović and a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Hawks to stop a three-game losing streak. Nikola Jokić contributed 25 points and nine assists for Denver, while rookie Julian Strawther hit six 3-pointers while producing a career-high 22 points off the bench.

Bogdanovic had 13 of his points in the fourth quarter with Atlanta's leading scorer, Trae Young, out of the game after being ejected when arguing a no-foul call late in the third.

The Hawks trailed 100-86 at the time of Young's departure and were down by 20 points with under 10 minutes left before rallying late, as Bogdanovic led a 16-5 run that cut the Nuggets' lead to 126-122 with 30.5 seconds left.

Jokic hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, however, and Bogdanovic missed a pair of 3-point tries in the final seconds as the Hawks' bid came up short.

Young had 19 points and nine assists before exiting.

 

New York Knicks starting center Mitchell Robinson will undergo surgery on his left ankle and be re-evaluated in 8-to-10 weeks, the team announced on Monday.

The 2018 second-round draft pick sustained the injury in Friday’s 133-123 loss at Boston and will now likely be sidelined through the All-Star break.

Mitchell leads the NBA with 5.3 offensive rebounds per game, ranks 11th in total rebounding (10.3), is tied for 14th in steals (1.52) and sits 20th in blocked shots (1.29).

He’s a big reason why the Knicks (12-9) are ranked third in the NBA with 108.7 points allowed per game and sixth with an average of 44.6 points allowed in the paint.

Bronny James made his college debut for Southern California on Sunday night, five months after the son of NBA superstar LeBron James suffered a cardiac arrest.

James, 19, was found to have a congenital heart defect after a cardiac arrest during a workout in on July 20, but was recently cleared by doctors to participate in full-contact practice.

He made his first appearance for the Trojans on Sunday, collecting four points, three rebounds and two assists, although he was unable to prevent an 84-79 overtime loss to Long Beach State.

After the game, James thanked the Mayo Clinic where he was treated, USC coach Andy Enfield, as well as friends, family and team-mates for helping him get on to the court.

“I just want to say I’m thankful for everything,” the teenager said. “Mayo Clinic, everything they helped me with. My parents, siblings who supported me through this hard time in my life.

“I just want to give appreciation to everyone that’s helped me through this – also my coach, my team-mates, all my other coaches that have been with me since the start. I just want to say I’m thankful for them.”

 

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was in the arena to watch Bronny play, and afterwards posted on social media: “Can’t even tell y’all how EMOTIONAL today was for me! I’m literally drained and all I can say is @bronny you’re simply INCREDIBLE!!

“Damn the wins and loses that will occur. You’ve already won the ultimate goal/championship and that’s LIFE!!! Proud of you kid and today you’ve given me more life! Thank you and I love you”

LeBron James has previously talked up the prospect of bringing an NBA franchise to Las Vegas when he retires, and he reiterated that desire after Saturday's in-season tournament final in Sin City.

James had 24 points in support of team-mate Anthony Davis, who finished with a season-high 41 as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers 123-109 in the Vegas showpiece to become the first winners of the tournament.

The four-time NBA MVP is into his 21st season in the league and has previously opened up on his desire to own a franchise when he calls time on his glittering career. 

James – who already owns stakes in Premier League outfit Liverpool and MLB team Boston Red Sox – said last year that he would "love" to take a franchise to Las Vegas. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver joked about those hopes as he presented James with the tournament's MVP trophy after Saturday's game, prompting laughter from James as he said: "This doesn't come with a franchise".

However, the 38-year-old is deadly serious about his ownership ambitions, saying: "My enthusiasm about being here post-career and bringing a team here has not changed. 

"The fans are amazing here. They have everything already, a WNBA team, they have a baseball team [the relocating Oakland Athletics] coming in soon, an NFL team, hockey team, Formula One was just here. 

"This is a place that loves great attractions, and I think the NBA will be another great addition to this city."

Tyrese Haliburton acknowledged the Los Angeles Lakers deserved Saturday's in-season tournament final victory as he vowed the Indiana Pacers will bounce back with a playoff push.

Haliburton has emerged as one of the breakout stars of the inaugural in-season tournament, but he was unable to help the Pacers triumph in Las Vegas as they fell to a 123-109 defeat to the Lakers.

Haliburton finished with 20 points and 11 assists but was upstaged by Anthony Davis, who had 41 points and 20 rebounds for Los Angeles, while LeBron James added 24.

Speaking after the Pacers' defeat, Haliburton accepted the Lakers had brought a playoff-level performance and deserved to go home with the trophy.

"Yeah, we're sick, frustrated," Haliburton said. "We just got outplayed tonight from the start of the game to the end of the game. 

"We just didn't do the job on loose balls, didn't rebound, didn't get enough stops when needed. They just outplayed us, and it's frustrating.

"Every team doesn't have Anthony Davis and a bunch of 6-8, 6-9 wings, so there's that, as well. It's just about understanding how different looks are going to come. 

"This doesn't have a regular-season feel at all. I'm used to playing LeBron whatever he plays, 30, 35 minutes. It felt like him and AD never came off the floor. It was like a playoff-type deal."

There are still plenty of reasons for positivity in Indiana, though, with the team fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 12-8 record after winning their last three regular-season games.

Haliburton is determined to help the Pacers end their three-season playoff exile in order to enjoy more of the games that matter, adding: "Getting accustomed to that was good for me and makes me want to play some more games that have some meaning to them.

"So we have to handle the season the right way so I can get to the playoffs and feel that."

Anthony Davis was the star of the show as the Los Angeles Lakers won the first NBA in-season tournament final on Saturday, but he put their success down to his partnership with LeBron James.

Davis recorded season highs of 41 points and 20 rebounds as the Lakers overcame the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas to be crowned champions of the inaugural tournament, while James backed him up with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

That represented something of a role reversal from their semifinal success against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, when James scored 30 points in under three quarters on the court.

Davis is now into his fifth year playing with James – who received the tournament's first MVP prize after Saturday's win – and he says the pair enjoy an almost telepathic connection.

"We've been doing it together for a long time, five years now, and we just figure it out," Davis said of his combinations with James. 

"We know each other's tendencies, what we like to do. Obviously in crunch time, we get to our infamous pick-and-roll and it's tough to stop.

"We feed off one another. Thursday, LeBron had it going. Tonight, it was me, and he still did his thing."

Saturday's game was the only one in the in-season tournament which didn't count towards the NBA's regular-season standings, but the Lakers are going well on that front too, sitting at 14-9 after winning 12 of their last 16 games.

Davis is determined to ensure the in-season tournament is not the only thing they win this season, saying: "I just try to do everything I can to win a basketball game. My team-mates put me in a great position to be successful. 

"Obviously, this is special for us, just winning the inaugural in-season tournament. But we want to also win the same thing in June.

"It's a step in the right direction, obviously, but even though it's a big performance, it's another game and we've got to continue to get going, starting on Tuesday."

The Lakers face a three-game road stretch next week as they return to regular-season action, taking on the Dallas Mavericks before back-to-back games against the out-of-form San Antonio Spurs.

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