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LeBron hits 39,000 points, Lakers sweep tournament group play


Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, heart, reacts after making a 3-point basket during the first half of the team’s NBA In-Season Event basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday November 21, 2023, in Los Angeles. James became the first player in NBA history to surpass 39,000 career points. (AP Photography/Ryan Solar)

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James scored his 39,000th point with 17 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers completed an unbeaten streak in the group stage at the NBA In-Season Tournament with a 131- 99. victory against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday evening.

Anthony Davis had 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers, who are expected to host a quarterfinal game early next month to begin the knockout stages of the league’s first tournament of the season. Los Angeles beat Phoenix, Memphis, Portland and Utah by a mixed score of 74 points, capped by this Jazz explosion for the Lakers’ sixth victory in seven games overall.

James, 38, became the first player in league history to reach 39,000 points at the start of the first quarter. The milestone was another stop in James’ elimination of previous world standards for basketball longevity: He began the night averaging 26.4 points per game, by far the most production record of any basketball player. players in NBA history reaching a 21st season. .

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D’Angelo Russell added 20 points and eight assists for the Lakers, who went up by 30 in the third quarter and took both of their superstars out of the game for good before the start of the fourth. James only played 24 minutes, while Davis dominated his 29 minutes, going 11 of 14 and even four assists.

Austin Reaves scored 19 points and Christian Wooden had a game-high 16 as Los Angeles improved to 7-1 at home this season and Utah fell to 1-6 on the road.

John Collins scored 15 points and Omer Yurtseven had a game-high 18 for the Jazz, who fell to 2-2 in tournament play with their seventh loss in nine games overall. Utah shot miserably, hitting just 33 percent of its shots in the first half.

Rookie wing Cam Reddish played just five minutes before leaving with a groin soreness, adding another injury to the Lakers’ roster and leaving them with just nine players available. Jarred Vanderbilt (left heel) and first-round pick Jalen Hood-Schifino (proper kneecap) have not played this season. Gabe Vincent will miss at least 16 games before returning from a left knee injury, likely next month.

The Lakers nevertheless dominated the first half, taking a 23-point lead in the second quarter behind 17 points and 10 rebounds from Davis. Utah made just 4 of 23 from 3-point range while falling behind 62-41 at halftime.

FOLLOWING

Jazz: at Portland on Wednesday.

Lakers: Host Dallas on Wednesday.

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