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Davis, LeBron lead Lakers in showdown over Clippers

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LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard dribbles the ball past Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James in the 2nd half at the Staples Center. -- KIRBY LEE-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis had 30 points and eight rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped the host Los Angeles Clippers’ six-game winning streak with a 112-103 victory on Sunday.

LeBron James added 28 points, nine assists and seven boards for the Lakers, who won their fourth straight and 11th in 12 games. Avery Bradley scored a season-high 24 points, connecting on six 3-pointers. Kyle Kuzma finished with a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points.

Paul George led the Clippers with 31 points and Kawhi Leonard had 27. Montrezl Harrell added 20 points for the Clippers, who lost for the first time to the Lakers in three contests this season.

The Lakers went up by as much as 12 midway through the fourth quarter before the Clippers pulled to within 107-100 after a foul shot by Marcus Morris with 1:35 remaining. James converted a pair of free throws 22 seconds later for a nine-point Lakers’ cushion and added a three-point play with 40.8 seconds left to seal it.

The Lakers took a 64-58 edge after Bradley’s 3-pointer with 6:45 left in the third quarter, but the Clippers came back with a 10-1 surge for 66-65 lead after a 3-pointer by George at 5:31. However, the Lakers seized an 85-81 lead heading into the fourth quarter. They never trailed again.

The Lakers led 27-25 after one quarter before the Clippers went up by as much as nine in the second. They used a 12-3 run for a 45-36 advantage after two free throws by Ivica Zubac with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter. However, the Lakers rallied and sliced the margin to 53-49 at the break.

Defense dictated for much of the first half. The Clippers managed just 38.8 percent shooting from the field to 37.2 percent for the Lakers. Both clubs made only 2 of 14 3-pointers (14.3%).

GIANNIS-LESS BUCKS DROP SECOND STRAIGHT IN LOSS TO SUNS
Devin Booker scored 20 of his team-high 36 points in a 47-point first quarter for Phoenix on Sunday as the host Suns took advantage of the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to thump the Milwaukee Bucks 140-131.

The Bucks announced before the game that an MRI taken on Antetokounmpo’s left knee, injured in Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, showed no significant damage, but that the Most Valuable Player candidate would be held out of at least two games.

The Bucks (53-11) have lost two in a row for the first time this season and three of their past four. Milwaukee, which had gone 9-0 after its previous nine losses — winning by an average of 17.0 points — completes a three-game trip with a visit to Denver on Monday.

The absence was Antetokounmpo’s seventh of the season. Milwaukee fell to 5-2 in those games after winning their first five without last year’s MVP.

Booker, Aron Baynes and Ricky Rubio made 3-pointers on Phoenix’s first three shots, giving the Suns, who had lost four of their previous five games, a 9-0 lead just 1:42 into the game.

Phoenix never trailed, leading by as many as 25 points in the second quarter and 21 in the third. — Reuters





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