LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James scored 30 points before cautiously leaving the court with less than five minutes to play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 114-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
The Lakers said James felt pain in his left leg that appeared to occur after he backed off Paul George for a foul on the paint. James sat out Monday’s game in Utah to rest the lingering pain in his left foot, but he was having one of his best games of the season before his latest injury.
James, on track to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this season to become the NBA’s career scoring leader, hit four 3-pointers and added eight rebounds and five assists against the Clippers, finishing one short of his season in spots.
George scored 29 points as the Clippers extended their recent dominance over their arena mates with their ninth straight win over the Lakers. Norman Powell added 18 points for the Clippers, who had seven top scorers in double figures during their fifth win in 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 maintained their lead over the Lakers down the stretch to remain undefeated in the city’s rivalry since July 2020. The Clippers still haven’t lost. for the Lakers. Lakers under head coach Tyronn Lue, who took over in October 2020.
Anthony Davis had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who dropped to 2-9 with their fourth straight loss. Russell Westbrook had 14 points and nine assists, but the Lakers have the second-worst NBA record so far under new head coach Darvin Ham.
John Wall scored 10 points on his return to the Clippers’ bench after sitting out the second straight game Monday night. Wall is being wary of his knee and his return after sitting out two of the last three seasons.
Leonard missed his 10th game this season, including nine in a row on his slow comeback from the knee injury that kept him out for the entire 2021-22 season.
George scored 15 as the Clippers took a 17-point lead during a 38-point first quarter, but James and Westbrook led an 18-2 run in the second to erase most of the deficit. The Clippers regained control with a 16-4 spurt to close out the third quarter.
Lakers: Lonnie Walker missed his second straight game with a non-COVID-19 illness. He started in 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 being traded 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 watched from the court. … 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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