(Basketball news) The Lakers got back to winning ways as they beat the Orlando Magic 116-105. For the Lakers, LeBron James scored 29 points and played exclusively at center in the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit as Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and Stanley Johnson added 11 points off the bench, this was also Carmelo’s 8th 20 point game. For the Magic, Rookie guard Jalen Suggs scored a career-best 22 points for the Magic while Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 points as Mo Bamba had 11 points and eight rebounds. With this result Lakers improved their record to 23-23 as they moved upto 7th in the Western Conference standings.
''He's the most unique player in the history of the game,'' Vogel said of James. ''We won a championship with him playing point guard two years ago, he's been a ball-handling wing throughout his career and he's been playing center for us. It's pretty remarkable, and for him to be doing it at this stage of his career, it's even more remarkable.''
''I was upset about (not finishing Wednesday's game) and I was more upset that we didn't win the game,'' Westbrook said. ''I've been here doing my job since Day 1 and doing everything asked of me. I want to continue to do that for the betterment of the team.''
''We feel like the first game on an East Coast road trip is always the toughest game, and that first half is usually when you're trying to get your legs back coming off a long flight from LA,'' James said. ''We knew we could play a lot better in the second half.''
''They came out with a level of intensity to try and push it back up,'' Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. ''The same thing happened when we were in Los Angeles.'
The Milwaukee Bucks displayed why they are the defending champions as they beat the Chicago Bulls 94-90. For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 12 rebounds as Middleton had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Bobby Portis added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Jrue Holiday scored 13 points. For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points but missed a 3-pointer that would have put the Bulls ahead with 23 seconds left as Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Matt Thomas added 11 points and went 3 of 5 on 3-point attempts. With this result it meant that the Bulls dropped out of the top spot after the Nets had won their match, which means that the Chicago Bulls have a record of 28-16 sitting second in the Eastern Conference standings. As for the Bucks, they improved their record to 29-19 and sit in 4th place in the standings.
''At the end of the day, a win is a win,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''We did the right things. We created good habits tonight.'
''For Alex to be in the air like that and for (Allen) to take him down like that, he could have ended his career,'' Donovan said. ''(Allen) has a history of this. That, to me, was really dangerous. I really hope the league takes a hard look at something like that because he could have really, really seriously hurt (Caruso).''
''I think Grayson (did) nothing malicious, went to block the shot,'' Budenholzer said. ''I think it's a close call, and they went with flagrant 2. I'm not going to disagree. It's right on the border and that's the direction they went.''
''We talk about versatility in a lot of different ways,'' Budenholzer said. ''And I think you've got to be versatile in the kind of games you can win. I'm very proud of the guys, for them to find a way to win tonight. We had to earn that.''
The Golden State Warriors won a close encounter with the Houston Rockets as they beat them 105-103. Curry nailed a game-winning 20-foot jumper from the top of the key as the clock hit 0.0 and the buzzer blared, scoring 22 points and sending the Warriors past Houston. For the Warriors, Jordan Poole had 20 points as Andrew Wiggins also chipped in with 17 points, Klay Thompson sat out the second game of the back-to-back games. For the Rockets, Christian Wood had 12 of his 19 points in the first quarter and grabbed 15 rebounds and Kevin Porter Jr. scored 17 points for Houston. With this the Warriors stayed 2nd in the Western Conference with a record of 33-13.
''It felt great,'' Curry said. ''The way the whole last 48 hours have been with the way we played grinding out last night, going overtime, losing, the disappointment with that and then coming into this game, the back and forth, just grind-it-out mentality we had, the resilience we showed to give ourselves a chance the second half was impressive
'I was shocked. I just talked to him. It was his first ever walk off game-winner,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Obviously he's had plenty in the final seconds. I didn't know that. A fitting end to a grind-out game that we really needed. I think in some ways we had forgotten how hard you have to play to win in this league.
The other results were:
- Spurs 102 – 117 Nets
- Hornets 121 – 98 Thunder
- 76ers 101 – 102 Clippers
- Celtics 105 – 109 Trail Blazers
- Hawks 110 – 108 Heat
- Wizards 105 – 109 Raptors
- Jazz 111 – 101 Pistons
- Nuggets 118 – 122 Grizzlies
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Bucks vs Kings
- Cavaliers vs Thunder
- Suns vs Pacers
- Knicks vs Clippers