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LeBron James scores 48 points as Lakers dump Rockets

Jan 16, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) shoots the ball against Los Angeles Lakers center Thomas Bryant (31) in the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James scored a season-high 48 points, the fifth time he has produced at least 35 in his past seven games, and the Los Angeles Lakers ended a three-game losing streak with a 140-132 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday.

Russell Westbrook scored 24 points and Kendrick Nunn added 15 as the Lakers won for the first time since their five-game winning streak ended Jan. 9. Los Angeles has six wins in its past nine games and is 8-8 since Anthony Davis has been sidelined due to a stress reaction in his right foot.

The Lakers committed a franchise-low two turnovers.

James added nine assists and eight rebounds. He moved to 38,072 points for his career, 315 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time NBA scoring lead.

Alperen Sengun had 33 points, 15 rebounds and six assists and Jalen Green added 23 points for the Rockets, who saw their season-worst losing streak extend to 11 games. Houston has lost 16 of its last 17 games.

Eric Gordon scored 19 points for the Rockets, who last won a game on Dec. 26.

The Lakers led 37-35 after one quarter and went up 73-61 heading into halftime after shooting 54.2 percent in the first half. Los Angeles tied its highest scoring first half of the season and then led 102-98 after three quarters.

A 13-4 burst to open the fourth quarter pushed the Lakers’ advantage to 13 points with 9:24 remaining. However, a 9-0 run got Houston within 119-116 with 5:06 remaining after a dunk by Kenyon Martin Jr.

The Rockets remained close, pulling within 133-131 on a layup by Gordon with 1:11 left before James banked in a jumper for a 135-131 advantage with 50.1 seconds remaining. James then added two free throws with 40.3 seconds left for a 137-131 lead.

Patrick Beverley scored 11 points for the Lakers after missing the previous two games with a non-COVID illness.

Martin put up 17 points and Jabari Smith Jr. had 14 for the Rockets.

Green and Jae’Sean Tate (seven points) both returned for the Rockets after they were suspended for Houston’s Sunday game against the Los Angeles Clippers. The punishments were leaving the bench area during an on-court scuffle Friday against the Sacramento Kings.

–Field Level Media

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