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NBA

Pacers stun Lakers as LeBron reaches 10,000 career rebounds

Despite Lebron's 30-point haul, it wasn't enough as the Los Angeles Lakers slumped to a 111-104 home defeat to the struggling Indiana Pacers.

Update:
Jan 19, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. VasquezUSA TODAY Sports

LeBron James brought up his 10,000th career regular-season rebound but his 30-point haul was not enough as the Los Angeles Lakers slumped to a 111-104 home defeat to the struggling Indiana Pacers.

James' double-double could not stem the Pacers' tide in a fourth-quarter blitz as Indiana, 13th in the East, inflicted a fourth defeat on the Lakers in the space of five games and increased the pressure on Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel.

It is just the second win in 12 games for Indiana, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Caris LeVert had 30 points, while Domantas Sabonis hit a triple-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

It was a miserable night all-round for Los Angeles teams, with the Clippers slipping to a 130-128 overtime defeat in Denver.

Nikola Jokic had a triple-double of 49 points – the second-best tally of his career in a single game, after a 50-point showing against the Sacramento Kings last season – 14 rebounds and 10 assists, the last of which teed up Aaron Gordon for the winning three-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining in OT.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: LeBron James #6 and Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers walk back to the court after a timeout during a 111-104 Indiana Pacers win at Crypto.com Arena on January 19, 2022
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: LeBron James #6 and Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers walk back to the court after a timeout during a 111-104 Indiana Pacers win at Crypto.com Arena on January 19, 2022Harry HowAFP

Irving returns for Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets clinched a contentious one-point win over the Washington Wizards, with Kyrie Irving the star man for the visiting team.

Irving had 30 points, three rebounds and seven assists as the Nets triumphed 119-118 on Wednesday, with Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie missing late three-pointers in the closing seconds for the Wizards.

Kuzma was left infuriated, however, as he reflected on a moment earlier in the fourth quarter when it appeared a member of the Brooklyn bench purposefully deflected a pass that had been headed his way.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball over Rui Hachimura #8 of the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on January 19, 2022 in Washington,
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball over Rui Hachimura #8 of the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on January 19, 2022 in Washington,Scott TaetschAFP

Nevertheless, Kuzma and his Washington team-mates must reflect on an opportunity missed as they were unable to build on their 117-98 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Wizards are now 23-22 for the season and sit eighth in the Eastern Conference, five places behind the 28-16 Nets.

Brooklyn were without talisman Kevin Durant, but Irving – who can only play in road games due to his refusal to be vaccinated against covid – stepped up.

Irving scored 22 of his 30 points in the first half and has averaged 20.0 points per game since his return to the team.

Bucks down depleted Grizzlies, Embiid hits 50

Reigning NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks capitalised on the Memphis Grizzlies' lack of star power as they claimed a 126-114 win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 33 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks, who took advantage of Memphis being without two of their leading scorers in Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane, though Ja Morant (33 points, 14 assists) gave his all for the Grizzlies.

Elsewhere, Joel Embiid scored 50 points in only 27 minutes in a 123-110 victory for Philadelphia over the Orlando Magic.

Embiid is now the third player in Sixers history to have multiple games with 50 points or more, while he reached 50 points and 10 rebounds quicker than any NBA player since 1955.

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