Clippers vs. Lakers – NBA Game Recap – January 24, 2023

LOS ANGELES — — LeBron James had a career-high nine 3-pointers with 46 points, but the Los Angeles Clippers scored 19 3-pointers of their own Tuesday night en route to a comfortable 133-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

James scored at least 40 points against the Clippers for the first time in his 20-year career, earning him a 40-point game against all 30 teams in the NBA. James hit his ninth 3-pointer record with 6:45 to go and set in his 1,404. Play a career high from a distance.

“I was able to take a few shots tonight and try to help us stay in the game,” said James. “But the Clippers are really good. Exceptionally good when they shoot the 3 ball and tonight they did it.”

Indeed, James’ brilliance was far from enough: The Lakers never caught up after falling 23 points behind, and James spent the final minutes on the bench after the Clippers claimed their 10th straight win over their downtown housemates Los Angeles had achieved since former Lakers guard Tyronn Lue became the Clippers coach.

James has also upped his pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career record with his 101st 40-point game, including the postseason. He’s just 177 points behind Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), putting him in position to break the record at the end of the Lakers’ upcoming five-game road swing rather than at home in Los Angeles.

“I got into this place without thinking about it,” James said. “Just being in the moment and trying to play the game right. Even tonight when I was kicking the ball I was still trying to spread it out among my guys to make sure they felt some kind of rhythm. That’s just how I’ve always played the game.”

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Paul George had 27 points and nine rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard added 25 points in the Clippers’ third straight win. The Clippers were never far behind because they had a season-high 15 3-pointers in the first half and a season-high 77 points in the first half.

“[James]had a great shooting game, but we weathered the storm,” Lue said. “When they cut (the lead) down to 10 and LeBron was on fire like that… we were just trying to knock everyone else out and get him to go one-on-one.”

Norman Powell had 22 points and Reggie Jackson added 19 for the Clippers.

“We made them throw really hard shots and they just took them,” said Lakers coach Darvin Ham. “Against such a great team you have to play damn near perfect to make up that deficit.”

Russell Westbrook scored 17 points and Thomas Bryant added 15 for the Lakers, who could return Anthony Davis Wednesday after his 20-game absence with a right foot injury.

“The possibilities are endless,” Ham said with a grin.

HACHIMURA ARRIVES

Rui Hachimura sat on the Lakers’ bench one day in street clothes after they acquired him in a trade for Washington’s Kendrick Nunn. The tall Japanese man will be uniformed on Wednesday, Ham said.

TIP INS

Clippers: Marcus Morris left the game with bruised ribs. Lue didn’t have a postgame update. … John Wall missed his sixth straight game due to an abdominal injury. … Luke Kennard missed his ninth straight game with a calf injury.

Lakers: Guards Lonnie Walker and Austin Reaves are also close to returning from injury, Ham said. Reaves has not played since January 4, and Walker has been out since December 28. … Westbrook scored his 24,000th point in the first quarter, becoming the 28th player in NBA history to hit the bull’s eye.

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NEXT

Clippers: host San Antonio on Thursday night.

Lakers: host San Antonio on Wednesday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP–Sports

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