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Los Angeles Lakers ground Houston Rockets again 117-100

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LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD LEBRON JAMES (23) dribbles the ball against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the second quarter at Toyota Center. — REUTERS

LEBRON James scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the first half and the Los Angeles Lakers posted their second runaway victory over the Houston Rockets in as many games, rolling to a 117-100 victory on Tuesday at Toyota Center in Houston.

The Lakers, who led by as many as 27 points in their 120-102 win on Sunday, matched that advantage on a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 3-pointer at the 3:35 mark of the second quarter. The Lakers led wire to wire while remaining perfect on the road, combining stingy defense with blistering perimeter shooting in the first quarter to build a 35-14 lead entering the second.

James made four of nine 3-pointers and added eight rebounds and five assists. Five other Lakers joined James in double figures, with Anthony Davis posting 19 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots in just 29 minutes. The starting backcourt of Dennis Schroeder and Caldwell-Pope combined for 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting with six rebounds and four steals.

Christian Wood paired 18 points with eight rebounds while James Harden added 16 points, seven rebounds, and six assists for Houston. The Rockets continued their poor shooting from deep, finishing 12 of 40 on 3s while shooting just 39.2% overall. Harden missed five of six treys and shot five of 16 overall.

The Lakers turned a 12-0 run into a 28-10 advantage in the first quarter, getting 3s from Caldwell-Pope and James while recording three blocks and forcing two turnovers during the rally. The Lakers entered the second quarter with a plus-8 advantage on the glass and eight fast-break points while limiting the Rockets to 6-for-21 shooting.

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SIXERS 137 – HEAT 134 OT
Joel Embiid scored 35 of his 45 points in the second half and overtime (OT) to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Miami Heat 137-134 on Tuesday.

NETS 122 – NUGGETS 116
Kevin Durant totaled 34 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds as Brooklyn overcame an 18-point deficit to post a victory over Denver in New York.

JAZZ 117 – CAVALIERS 87
Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points and Jordan Clarkson added 21 to lift visiting Utah to a victory over Cleveland.

SPURS 112 – THUNDER 102
Lonnie Walker IV scored 24 points to lead San Antonio to a victory at Oklahoma City. San Antonio forced 13 Thunder turnovers, converting them into 26 points on the other end, while Oklahoma City managed just two points off four Spurs turnovers. Keldon Johnson had 18 points for the Spurs and Patty Mills contributed 17. — Reuters

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