San Antonio: For a player who wasn't even part of the Los Angeles Lakers' plans this offseason, Dwight Howard is providing a powerful impact alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Davis had 25 points and 11 rebounds, James added 21 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds and Los Angeles held off the San Antonio Spurs 103-96 on Sunday night.
Howard had 14 points and 13 rebounds in a throwback performance to help the Lakers improve to 5-1. He was 7 for 7 from the field.
"Just effort and energy," Howard said. "(James and Davis) are going to take most of the scoring bulk, so my job is just to make sure I clean up all the mistakes. On the defensive end, be a force, make guys take tough shots and be aggressive. I enjoy it."
Dejounte Murray had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, Rudy Gay added 16 points off the bench, and DeMar DeRozan had 14. They lost for the second time in three games to drop to 4-2.
James also had a triple-double Friday night in an overtime victory in Dallas. The Spurs rallied in the fourth just as the Mavericks did in forcing overtime, but this time Howard put a stop to rally in regulation.
Howard missed all but nine games last season with the Washington Wizards after suffering a knee injury. The 15-year veteran remained an unsigned free agent until August when the Lakers took a chance after DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season with a knee injury.
The signing has been huge for Los Angeles, which has the best record in the Western Conference.
"Any time he's on the floor, he always seems to do something huge for us," Davis said.
Howard had 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs closed to 77-72 on Gay's 37-footer to end the third quarter and 87-85 on Murray's short jumper midway through the fourth.
Murray finished 7 for 12 from the field.
"He is like a young pup," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said, "and he is trying to figure it out. He's got speed, he's aggressive and, at the same time, he's trying to learn to run the show and find people and take good shots."
Murray's three-point play on a foul against James and subsequent driving layup tied it at 90 with 4:10 remaining. The Lakers went on a 7-0 run, capped by a dunk follow by Howard. The center flexed after the basket to the roar of the many Los Angeles fans in attendance.
"Dwight Howard was huge," James said. "Every minute that he played. Great performance by him, crashing the glass, catching lobs, getting great strips defensively, giving us extra possessions. He was vintage tonight in the minutes that he played."
The Lakers missed their first three shots and had two turnovers but the Spurs only managed a 5-0 lead. The teams combined to commit 13 turnovers in the first quarter in a sloppy start to a battle between the early leaders in the Western Conference standings.
The Spurs were 4 for 16 on 3-pointers in the first half and finished 6 for 25 on 3s.
"Defense, that's our staple," James said. "We've been talking about it and we believe it. No matter how it's going for us offensively. If we're struggling to shoot the ball, if we turn the ball over, we have to still continue to get stops and we did that tonight in a very hostile environment. An environment that's very tough to win in, I know from experience. It's a very good win for us early in the second."
The Lakers outscored the Spurs 30-18 in the second quarter, including an alley-oop from Howard at the 3-point line to Davis.
CLIPPERS 10, JAZZ 94
Kawhi Leonard scored 18 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead Los Angeles past Utah.
Leonard's scoring surge helped the Clippers erase a double-digit second-half deficit and improve to 4-0 at home. He only made 9 of 26 shots, but with the game tied at 86, Leonard scored six points to spark a 19-8 run to close out the victory. Montrezl Harrell added 19 points, and Lou Williams had 17.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 36 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 19.
MAVERICKS 131, CAVALIERS 111
Luka Doncic had his second straight triple-double and third of the season, finishing with 29 points, 14 rebounds and a career high-tying 15 assists to lead Dallas past Cleveland.
Kristaps Porzingis added 18 points and nine rebounds, and Boban Marjanovic had 12 points and eight rebounds. The Mavericks are 3-0 on the road for the first time since their championship season of 2010-11.
Kevin Love had a season-high 29 points and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers.
HEAT 129, ROCKETS 100
Duncan Robinson scored 23 points, Meyers Leonard added 21 and Miami led by 41 points on the way to the easy victory over Houston.
Jimmy Butler scored 18 points and had nine assists for the Heat, and James Johnson had 17 points in his season debut. Miami is 5-1, matching the best six-game start in franchise history.
James Harden scored 29 points for Houston, and Russell Westbrook was held to only 10.
It was a record-setting opening quarter for the Heat — resulting in the third-biggest lead after 12 minutes in the NBA's shot-clock era, starting with the 1954-55 season. Miami led 46-14 after that first quarter. The only bigger leads after one quarter since the shot clock was put into play came when the Los Angeles Lakers led the Sacramento Kings 40-4 after one quarter on 4 February, 1987, and the Baltimore Bullets leading the Kansas City-Omaha Kings 45-12 after a quarter on 9 December, 1972.
KINGS 113, KNICKS 92
De'Aaron Fox scored 24 points, Buddy Hield had 22 and Sacramento beat New York for its second straight victory following an 0-5 start.
Harrison Barnes added 19 points, and Richaun Holmes had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Marcus Morris scored 28 points for New York. The Knicks have lost three straight to fall to 1-6.
PACERS 108, BULLS 95
T.J. Warren scored a season-high 26 points and Indiana beat Chicago.
Malcolm Brogdon added 22 points and seven assists. Indiana was missing injured forward/center Myles Turner (ankle), center Domantas Sabonis (calf contusion) and All-Star guard Victor Oladipo (knee).
Zach LaVine scored 21 points for Chicago. The Bulls are 0-5 on the road.
Updated Date: Nov 04, 2019 11:56:32 IST