James closes on Kobe, Davis has 28 as Lakers beat Knicks

1010 WINS Newsroom
January 22, 2020 - 10:14 pm

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes up for two points as New York Knicks forward Taj Gibson (67) is restrained by a Lakers defender, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James scored 19 of his 21 points to quickly cut into Kobe Bryant's shrinking lead over him for the No. 3 scoring spot in NBA history, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New York Knicks 100-92 on Wednesday night.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 28 points in his second game back after a five-game absence, after the Western Conference leaders were handed their worst loss of the season Monday in his return.

James' quiet second half left him with 33,599 points, 44 back of Bryant.

That keeps James in good shape to catch the former Lakers star Saturday at Philadelphia, where the five-time NBA champion was born. Los Angeles has a game in between Thursday in Brooklyn.

Davis scored eight points in the final 3:45 and finished 13 of 13 from the free throw line. He played 30 minutes after going only 23 in his return from a bruised gluteus maximus on Monday in Boston, where the Lakers were routed 139-107.

Marcus Morris scored 20 points and Damyean Dotson had 17 for the Knicks, who put up a much better effort after losing by 30 two weeks ago in Los Angeles. But they just couldn't come up with timely shots to really threaten the Lakers in the fourth quarter.

James shot 8 of 10 in 17 minutes of the first half, but the Knicks held the rest of the Lakers relatively in check and the game was tied at 48 at halftime.

The Lakers led by six after three quarters, then opened the fourth with Dwight Howard's dunk, a 3-pointer by Rajon Rondo and a basket by Kyle Kuzma to extend it to 83-70.

New York hung around and was within six again late but the Lakers prevailed despite only two baskets, both by Davis, in the final four minutes.


Lakers: Kuzma had 10 points. ... Howard finished with 12 rebounds off the bench.

Knicks: The Knicks attended the memorial service for former NBA Commissioner David Stern on Tuesday at Radio City Music Hall. Stern's son, Eric, thanked Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan for covering the expenses for the event. The Madison Square Garden Company owns Radio City Music Hall. ... Guard Frank Ntilikina was 0 for 8 and scoreless in 12 minutes off the bench.


James came into the game averaging 5.5 free throw attempts, which would be a career low and about 2 1/2 per game below his career average. Coach Frank Vogel isn't sure why there's been a reduction because he said James is still aggressively attacking the basket.

“We send clips in all the time to the league office, so I don’t know why he’s not getting calls," Vogel said.


Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. returned after missing 13 games with a strained left oblique. He entered in the third quarter and was scoreless in four minutes, missing both shots.


Lakers: Visit Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Knicks: Host Toronto on Friday night.

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