LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 30 points before gingerly walking off the field with less than five minutes left in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 114-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
The Lakers said James experienced left leg pain that appeared to occur after backing Paul George for a foul in the paint. James had missed Monday’s game at Utah to rest from lingering pain in his left foot, but had one of his best games of the season before his latest injury.
James, on pace to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this season to become the NBA’s career leading scorer, hit four 3-pointers and added eight rebounds and five assists against the Clippers while finishing one point behind his season.
George scored 29 points as the Clippers extended their recent dominance over their arena roommates with their ninth straight victory over the Lakers. Norman Powell added 18 points for the Clippers, who had seven double-digit scorers in their fifth win in the last six games without injured star Kawhi Leonard.
Two days after making a spectacular late comeback from a 15-point deficit to beat Cleveland, the Clippers coolly held a lead over the Lakers in stride to remain undefeated in the City rivalry since July 2020. The Clippers haven’t still not lost to the Lakers under coach Tyronn Lue, who took over in October 2020.
Anthony Davis had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who fell to 2-9 with their fourth straight loss. Russell Westbrook added 14 points and nine assists, but the Lakers have the NBA’s second-worst record so far under new coach Darvin Ham.
John Wall scored 10 points on his return to the Clippers bench after sitting out the second straight game on Monday night. Wall is careful with his knee and his comeback after being out two of the last three seasons.
Leonard has already missed his 10th game this season, including nine in a row on his slow comeback from a knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2021-22 season.
George scored 15 points as the Clippers took a 17-point lead in a 38-point first quarter, but James and Westbrook led an 18-2 run in the second to erase almost the entire deficit. The Clippers regained control with a 16-4 push to close out the third quarter.
Lakers: Lonnie Walker missed his second straight game with a non-COVID-19 illness. He started the Lakers’ first nine games, averaging 15.3 points. … Patrick Beverley returned from a two-game absence due to illness and scored seven points. Beverley spent four seasons with the Clippers before trading him to Minnesota in August 2021.
Clippers: Luke Kennard returned to the starting lineup in place of Terance Mann and scored 13 points. … Chargers stars Keenan Allen, Derwin James and Mike Williams all watched from the field. … The Clippers blocked seven shots in the third quarter.
Lakers: Host the Kings on Friday.
Clippers: Host the Nets on Saturday.
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