Frank Vogel highlighted how well LeBron James "quarterbacks the action" for the Los Angeles Lakers after the team avoided a potentially damaging collapse in a road win over the Orlando Magic.

The Magic (11-13) recovered from 24 points behind to level Wednesday's match at 71-71 in the fourth quarter, but James had a hand in all 10 unanswered points the Lakers produced from there to regain control of the game.

James finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, his sixth triple-double of the season helping the Lakers to a key 96-87 win.

That improved the team to 22-3, Vogel's squad having won 15 of their last 16 games to sit level with the Milwaukee Bucks for the NBA's best record.

Having surrendered such a big lead, going on to suffer a defeat would have come as a heavy blow to the Lakers, with Vogel quick to recognise James' impact in ensuring that did not happen.

"LeBron was great, especially down the stretch," Vogel said.

"He quarterbacks the action for us, keeping the lead at a healthy distance and making plays on the defensive end."

Team-mate Alex Caruso, who connected with a corner three assisted by James as part of that crucial 10-0 run, added: "He is the best in the world for a reason.

"Him just getting to the paint draws so many bodies that we're open on the backside. He creates a lot of attention so it's up to us to play off that and we did a good job."

James insisted it was a team game when asked about his starring performance.

He said: "Everyone is just playing their roles, buying into what the system is and trusting one another. That's what has got us off to a really good start. 

"We believe in each other and want each other to succeed. We trust what coach Vogel and the coaching staff's gameplan is every single night and we just try to execute that. 

"I assert my will when I step on the floor. It's all about just trying to make the right plays, the right passes, the right reads as a point guard on the team and do the right things defensively to help us win."

Anthony Davis recorded 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who had Jared Dudley ejected as he attempted to stand up for Dwight Howard when the teams were engaged in a fourth-quarter shoving match. 

James disagreed with the decision, adding to ESPN: "I mean, that's all it takes to get ejected? These days? Little shove?

"I've seen a lot more than that. But Duds will do whatever. He told you guys at media day his job is to come in here if somebody goes crazy, do something crazy to me or AD whoever on the team, he's going to be the muscle."

LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel poured praise upon Anthony Davis after his 50-point display against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Davis reached 50 points in a game for the first time since joining the Lakers, leading the team to a 142-125 victory on Sunday.

With his star team-mate in such form, James suggested his role was fairly straightforward, with the four-time MVP contributing 13 assists to go with his 32 points.

"Just keep feeding him," James said of Davis. "He was efficient all night, getting the ball exactly where he wanted it - either near post, low post, perimeter.

"He can do it all, so it's our job to continue to give him the ball."

James is happy with how he and Davis are performing together, inspiring a 21-3 start to the season, but he was always confident the former New Orleans Pelicans star would be able to lead the Lakers.

"For me and AD, it starts with us," he said. "If we're on the same page, it makes it much easier for the rest of the ball club. That's both on and off the floor.

"We're just trying to lead by example, lead by our voices, lead by our play, and see where it takes us. It's been pretty good for us so far.

"[Davis] had to carry a franchise before, so I don't think it's anything that's foreign to him. The best thing about what it is today is that he has an opportunity to be great every night.

"No matter if he's making shots or not, it's just his presence alone. And us, as his team-mates, continue to make him comfortable. He's great. There's nothing more that you can say."

Davis was 20-for-29 from the field but did not need a single three-point shot to get to a half-century.

The 26-year-old also weighed in with seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block, leaving coach Vogel to marvel at his player.

"The first thing that sticks out to me was that he had four steals, a block and great defense all 39 minutes he was out there," Vogel said.

"To be able to perform on that end of the floor and anchor us and still go for 50 - with what I feel is an old-school smash-mouth way of getting 50: no threes, 20-for-29 and living at the free-throw line, post-ups, offensive rebounds, crashes, all those type of things - it's just an old-school performance.

"It's one for the ages."

Anthony Davis said it was "humbling" to join Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in producing a 50-point game for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Davis and the Lakers have been in outstanding form so far in the 2019-20 NBA season, and that continued on Sunday as the former New Orleans Pelicans star put up exactly 50 points in a 142-125 defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The names of Bryant and James - the only other Lakers to achieve this feat in the past decade - were put to the 26-year-old in the locker room after.

Davis replied: "It means a lot. There are some greats who came through here, so to be in a class with guys like that - especially so early in my career, my first year here - is humbling.

"I'm definitely excited to be in that class."

Davis had 27 points by halftime and revealed he was then encouraged to go for 50 by his team-mates.

"I've had nights where I started off like that and ended up with like 30, didn't score in the second half," he said. "But the shot was feeling good tonight. We were very well rested.

"Going against another great big man in Karl-Anthony Towns, obviously you get up for some of those games. They're a team who are hungry, trying to get wins, and when you start off pretty hot from the floor, you just want the ball.

"It kept going in most of the times and my team-mates kept giving me the ball. They were saying I could get 50 so, at that point, you try to get 50.

"[They said it at] half-time. At that point, I'm not saying it was on my mind, because I'm still trying to play the right way, but I was definitely ultra-aggressive."

The Lakers improved to 21-3, four games clear of rivals the Los Angeles Clippers at the top of the West, and Davis says they are "in a rhythm".

"I feel like I'm in a rhythm," he said. "You've got to find your rhythm, and I feel, as a team, we've found our rhythm - that's how we're able to put up so many points.

"Obviously our defence has been really good and leads to a lot of open shots for us. Guys are able to see the ball go in the basket early, which helps us later in the game.

"I think the way that we approach the game now, knowing we've found our rhythm offensively, the whole team is playing at a high level."

LeBron James joked he is considering sneezing on Anthony Davis after his Los Angeles Lakers team-mate produced another outstanding performance in their win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Davis, who joined the Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster trade in June, followed up 25 and 26-point performances in road wins against the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz with a 39-point showing as Los Angeles claimed a 136-113 victory in Portland.

The 2012 first overall pick's displays have been made all the more impressive by the fact he has produced such incredible form while battling an illness.

Speaking after their win at the Moda Center, James said of Davis: "You see what he did on this road trip being sick? And he is starting to feel a lot better and I don't quite like it. I might sneeze on him a couple of times."

The Lakers are in command at the top of the Western Conference having lost just three of their 23 games this season.

"We have our mind set on something special. In order to reach that goal we have to stay in the moment and go game by game," Davis added.

"We take every game personal. We want to go out there and be the best team."

For the 9-14 Blazers, the game was marred by an injury to Rodney Hood, who suffered a torn Achilles in the first quarter.

"You hate to see one of your team-mates go down to an injury like that, especially a starter, and somebody who is really a good person and having a great season, fitting in really well with our team, and a big part of what we do," Blazers star Damian Lillard said. 

"You just feel for him personally more than anything."

 

LeBron James sheepishly labelled his uncalled travel during the Los Angeles Lakers' 121-96 win over the Utah Jazz "one of the worst things I've ever done in my career".

James impressed with 20 points and 12 assists to hand the Jazz a third consecutive loss, although his one turnover should in fact have been two.

When he was bringing the ball past half court during the first quarter, James took three-and-a-half steps before bouncing it again.

However, the officials failed to make a travel call and they had the sympathy of the 15-time NBA All-Star.

"It was the worst thing, probably one of the worst things I've ever done in my career," James told reporters after the Lakers improved to 19 wins from 22 outings this season.

"I didn't realise I did it until halftime. One of my coaches showed me.

"I feel bad for the refs on that one because they'll probably get a write-up on that or something. That was pretty bad."

James blamed his unusually absent-minded contribution on being distracted by a collision between Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Donovan Mitchell.

"I think at the same time, I was watching the underneath play, and KCP and Donovan got into it. KCP started to run, and Donovan bumped into him, he fell on the ground," he added.

"I think I was ready to pass the ball and my brain just kind of just... I had a malfunction. I really had a malfunction."

LeBron James hailed a "monster game" from Anthony Davis, who battled through illness to help the Los Angeles Lakers return to winning ways at the Denver Nuggets.

Davis required intravenous fluids at half-time of Tuesday's 105-96 road victory after being one of several Lakers players to suffer from flu-like symptoms.

The 26-year-old put on a fine all-round display, though, contributing 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers recovered from their loss to the Dallas Mavericks last time out.

James said Davis' contribution was just par for the course since he joined the Lakers in the offseason.

"He's been doing it all year," said James, who himself contributed 25 points, six rebounds and nine assists. "Playing through injuries, playing through illness like he did tonight. 

"[He's the] Defensive Player of the Year, and he showed tonight once again playing one-on-one versus 'Joker' [Nikola Jokic] in the post. 

"When there were switches, going on with Jamal Murray. He got stop after stop after stop. It was just a monster game for him."

For his part, Davis insists his illness had no bearing on the way he tried to play.

"I just tried to fight and do whatever I can to help the team win. I felt like I could give it a go, and I was able to contribute as much as I can and get the win," Davis said.

"[The sickness] didn't factor in. I was trying just to make the right play. Not trying to force anything. I think the shots that I had were good shots. But I was kind of overthinking it a little bit. 

"Not because of illness, but the way they were playing me. And then just trying to be aggressive in the second through fourth quarters. Just trying to get my team going, get them some looks and get myself some looks. 

"So, the illness didn't really play a big part that I thought it would, especially playing in Denver in the altitude."

Lakers coach Frank Vogel described Davis' performance as "something special".

"He just felt lousy the last two days. He comes in and has a Defensive Player of the Year type of performance," he said.

"He's guarding their two best players, Jokic, single coverage, everybody's staying home and Jamal Murray taking him to the basket and he's making defensive play after defensive play.

"And he was outstanding. For him to play through illness and have that kind of performance was something special."

Anthony Davis vowed the Los Angeles Lakers would not lose two straight NBA games after their run of 10 consecutive wins came to an emphatic halt on Sunday.

The Dallas Mavericks won 114-100 at Staples Center on the back of 27 points from in-form Luka Doncic.

That led Davis to describe the Lakers' defense as "terrible" but he joined LeBron James in adopting the mindset that the Lakers (17-3) would not allow themselves to drop two in a row for the rest of the season.

The loss to the Mavs (13-6) comes ahead of a difficult trip to face the Denver Nuggets (13-4), who hold an 8-2 record at home court, with other testing games road games against the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers to follow later this week.

The Lakers were dominated 16-9 in offensive rebounds against Dallas, much to the frustration of Davis.

"Our whole thing is we don't want to lose two in a row – ever," said Davis, who had 27 points and 10 rebounds, per ESPN.

"Our defense was terrible. We didn't rebound the basketball therefore we keep giving them second-chance points and they made us pay with threes.

"We know what we did wrong. It's one game. We beat ourselves with the rebounding and we need to do better."

Of the goal to go the rest of 2019-20 without losing back-to-back games, James said: "You don't know until you [strive for it].

"Realistic is the mindset. It's not about [accepting that] sometimes you lose games in a row. Just having that mindset and that approach."

Coach Frank Vogel acknowledged his team's challenge against the Nuggets on Tuesday would be greater than the one they faced against the Mavs.

"That's part of growing together, how you respond to losses," he said. "Playing in Denver is always tough. As well as they are playing this year, it's going to be even tougher. 

"I believe in our guys. If we play to our abilities, there's nobody we can't beat and nowhere we can't get a W."

As for Doncic, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle marvelled at a display that included 10 assists, nine rebounds and three steals, while the 20-year-old went 4-for-10 from three-point range.

"He hit a couple of hellacious shots," Carlisle said of Doncic. "There's just a small handful of guys in the whole world that can hit them. LeBron James is one of them. He's one of them. 

"Those step-back 30-footers, it's hard to describe how difficult the shot is, and how easy he makes it look."

LeBron James called for improvement after the Los Angeles Lakers saw their winning streak abruptly halted by the Dallas Mavericks.

Riding a 10-game winning run, the NBA-leading Lakers went down 114-100 to the Mavericks in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Despite Anthony Davis' double-double (27 points, 10 rebounds) and James' 25 points, the Lakers (17-3) fell to their third defeat of the season.

Reflecting on the loss, Lakers superstar James told reporters: "They pushed the tempo a lot more. They played with a better pace than us.

"A couple of calls when against us, which kind of changed the momentum of the game."

"We can play better," James added. "We obviously know they've played extremely well, especially on the road.

"We knew they wanted some get-back after we beat them on their floor, and they us on ours.

"They're a very good team. Very well coached. We just learn from our mistakes and the good things too."

Davis remained upbeat afterwards, saying: "It's one game. We're not going to get down over this loss. We know what type of team we are, we know now.

"We played well. And they beat us, but we beat ourselves with the rebounding, so we know what we've got to do better."

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic revelled in the Mavericks' win after scoring 21 of his 27 points in the second half.

"It's a great win that means a lot to us," Doncic said. "It shows that we can play against big teams, too. We just need to keep it rolling."

The Los Angeles Lakers will enter December with the NBA's best record, a fact that does not shock Anthony Davis.

Frank Vogel's team won a 10th straight game against the Washington Wizards on Friday to improve to 17-2, equalling the franchise's best record through 19 games.

The Lakers did not make the postseason in LeBron James' first season in Los Angeles, but the acquisition of center Davis ahead of this campaign has helped transform the team.

Asked what he would think if he had been told the Lakers would start 17-2, Davis replied: "I wouldn't have been surprised.

"We know the type of team we have. And when we defend, we can beat anybody, and we have a lot of veterans.

"So when we're down, we're able to fight back and have the confidence in our schemes."

Neither Davis nor James were needed in the fourth quarter as the Lakers eased to a 125-103 win over the Wizards.

They finished November with a 14-1 record but there are trickier games coming up on their schedule, including a clash with the Dallas Mavericks and the in-form Luka Doncic on Sunday.

"We have championship aspirations, but at the end of the day, that's not what's here right now," James added.

"What's right now is our next opponent, and that's Dallas and they're very good.

"We want to continue to get better and better and have championship mindset every time we step on the floor."

Anthony Davis came back to haunt his former team as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 114-110 over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Back in New Orleans for the first time since his blockbuster trade to the Lakers ahead of the 2019-20 NBA campaign, Davis posted a season-high 41 points on Wednesday.

Davis – who was selected by the Pelicans with pick one in the 2012 Draft – overcame an elbow problem in the final quarter to lead the Lakers (16-2) to their ninth successive win.

LeBron James finished with 29 points and 11 assists, while Jrue Holiday (29 points, 12 assists) top scored for the Pelicans (6-12).

Kemba Walker returned from a neck sprain to help the Boston Celtics top the Brooklyn Nets 121-110.

In Walker's first game back after leaving last week's loss to the Denver Nuggets with his neck in a brace, Walker posted a season-high 39 points in Boston.

"I've been over it. I could have played last game, honestly," Walker said. "If I'm on the court, I'm on the court. I wasn't thinking about anything [but] wanting to win."

The Nets were without former Celtics guard Kyrie Irving for the seventh consecutive game due to shoulder soreness.

 

Embiid bounces back from horror show

After finishing scoreless against the Toronto Raptors last time out, Joel Embiid put up 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Sacramento Kings 97-91. The result preserved Philadelphia's perfect home record at 8-0.

Giannis Antetokounmpo posted his 18th consecutive double-double as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to nine games with a 111-102 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The reigning MVP posted 30 points and 10 rebounds.

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 61 points in the Houston Rockets' 117-108 win against the Miami Heat. Harden scored 34 and Westbrook contributed 27 as the Rockets snapped a three-game skid.

It was a franchise-record night for the Toronto Raptors. The defending champions eased past the lowly New York Knicks 126-98 for their eighth straight home win to begin the season.

 

Oh no for O'Neale

It was a tough 27 minutes for Royce O'Neale. The 26-year-old did not score a point, going 0 for four from the floor and 0 of three from beyond the arc. His Utah Jazz lost 121-102 to the Indiana Pacers.

Coby White managed just two points in the Chicago Bulls' 104-90 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. White was 0 of seven from the field, while he missed all four of his three-point attempts.

 

Harrell ensures Clippers stay hot

Montrezl Harrell's tip-in with 2.3 seconds remaining gave the Los Angeles Clippers a 121-119 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies and a seventh straight win.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
Indiana Pacers 121-102 Utah Jazz
Boston Celtics 121-110 Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers 97-91 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 102-101 Detroit Pistons
Toronto Raptors 126-98 New York Knicks
Milwaukee Bucks 111-102 Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers 121-119 Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets 117-108 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 136-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers 114-110 New Orleans Pelicans
Golden State Warriors 104-90 Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards 140-132 Phoenix Suns
Minnesota Timberwolves 113-101 San Antonio Spurs

 

Clippers at Spurs

After the Thanksgiving break, the in-form Clippers will head to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Friday. It will be another Spurs reunion for Leonard, who left Gregg Popovich's team for the Raptors ahead of the 2018-19 season before landing in Los Angeles. San Antonio have only won one of their past 11 games.

LeBron James became just the fourth player in NBA history to surpass 33,000 career points on Wednesday.

James reached the milestone in the Los Angeles Lakers' clash away to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tops the all-time list with 38,387 points, ahead of Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643).

Prior to the game against the Pelicans, Lakers superstar and three-time NBA champion James had been averaging 25.6 points, 11.0 assists and 7.4 rebounds this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a season-high 50 points and collected 14 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 122-118 in NBA action on Monday.

It was Antetokounmpo's second 50-point game of his career, which helped extend Milwaukee's (14-3) winning streak to eight games.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo also recorded his 17th consecutive double-double – the longest streak to start a season since 1976-77.

Bojan Bogdanovic (24 points) and Donovan Mitchell (20 points) led the Jazz (11-6) on the road.

LeBron James, meanwhile, put up 33 points and 14 assists to see the Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-104 victory at the San Antonio Spurs.

Anthony Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the 15-2 Lakers, who own the best record in the league.

 

Hield has big game

Buddy Hield had a career-high 41 points but the Sacramento Kings still lost 103-102 to the Boston Celtics, who were without Kemba Walker due to a neck sprain.

Bam Adebayo had his ninth double-double of the season courtesy of 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Miami Heat defeated the Charlotte Hornets 117-100 to remain undefeated at home.

Carmelo Anthony moved into 18th place on the NBA's career scoring list. The veteran finished with 25 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' 117-94 win against the Chicago Bulls.

The Minnesota Timberwolves triumphed 125-113 over the Atlanta Hawks thanks to Karl-Anthony Towns' 28 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Horror night for Embiid

Joel Embiid was held scoreless for the first time in his career after the Philadelphia 76ers went down 101-96 to the Toronto Raptors. All-Star Embiid shot 0-for-11, missing all four of his shots from three-point range and going 0 of three from the free-throw line. He did, however, manage a game-high 13 rebounds.

 

Dinwiddie sinks Cavs

Playing in the absence of Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie hit a fadeaway jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining to lift the Brooklyn Nets past the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-106.

 

Monday's results

Brooklyn Nets 108-106 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 103-88 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 126-114 Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat 117-100 Charlotte Hornets
Boston Celtics 103-102 Sacramento Kings
Minnesota Timberwolves 125-113 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 101-96 Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trail Blazers 117-94 Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks 122-118 Utah Jazz
Los Angeles Lakers 114-104 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 100-97 Golden State Warriors

 

Clippers at Mavericks

There will be plenty of star quality on show when the Los Angeles Clippers visit the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George travel to Dallas riding a five-game winning streak. Led by the red-hot Luka Doncic, the Mavs have also won five straight.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James became the fifth player in NBA history with 12,000 career field goals made.

James, 34, reached the milestone in the Lakers' clash against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The three-time champion closed in on Chicago Bulls great and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan (12,192), who is fourth for FGM.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (15,837) tops the list ahead of Karl Malone (13,528) and Wilt Chamberlain (12,681).

Prior to Monday's game, James had been averaging 25.2 points, 10.8 assists and 7.6 rebounds for the high-flying Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel hailed Anthony Davis and claimed "there is no-one like him in the NBA" after the power forward inspired his side to a 130-127 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Davis poured in 33 points and claimed 11 rebounds as the Lakers extended their winning streak to six games.

LeBron James played a typically key role with 23 points but it was Davis that caught Vogel's eye.

He said: "There's no-one like him in the NBA. That's how unique it is.

"And the amount of the ways he impacts the game, both at the basket and shooting the three-ball - four threes, two four-point plays tonight - and elite defence all over the place. It's something special."

Davis was four-for-seven from three-point range, after going three-for-five from similar distance on Tuesday. Prior to that he was just eight-for-32 from beyond the arc and he credits the turnaround to a more instinctive approach.

"Coach told me to stop hesitating." Davis said. "When I hesitate, I'm going to come up short or [have] a bad miss. I feel like if I'm open I'm going to shoot it. No hesitation. And seems to go in a lot more when I'm not hesitating."

James added: "We want him to take more threes.

"Teams are playing off of him, and he's too damn good of a shooter not to shoot them. And he's been doing that the last couple games."

LeBron James is so used to making history that his latest landmark initially passed him by, though he later described his milestone triple-double feat as "pretty cool".

The Los Angeles Lakers star became the first player to record a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams as he posted 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Tuesday's 112-107 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel was quick to praise the 34-year-old after his latest impressive outing at the Staples Center but James was not aware of what he had just achieved.

"I had no idea," he said. "Coach Vogel came in here and said congratulations. I was like, I thought he was joking about my seven turnovers because I've been taking care of the ball so much.

"He told me I was the first player in NBA history to have a triple-double versus 30 teams, every team, so I was like, 'Okay. That's pretty cool.'"

While James refused to get carried away with it, Vogel was far more effusive.

"It's unbelievable," he said. "He'll say it's because he's been in the league for so long, but we all know that it's because he's remarkable.

"For him to be doing it for as long as he's been doing it, that's how you knock out all 30 teams with a stat like that.

"I don't know if that will ever get accomplished again."

The win was the Lakers' fifth in a row, improving their record to 12-2.

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