NBA: LeBron James, Anthony Davis fuel Lakers win over Pacers

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 16 2021 09:52 AM

Los Angeles Lakers center Andre Drummond (2), forward LeBron James (23) and forward Anthony Davis (3) all talk during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James scored seven consecutive points over a one-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter to help the Los Angeles Lakers record a 122-115 win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Indianapolis.

James, playing his first game since May 2 and just his third since March 20, finished with 24 points, a team-high eight assists and seven rebounds.

Anthony Davis collected 28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Lakers (41-30), who entered play a half-game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Los Angeles closes the regular season on Sunday in New Orleans.

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The Lakers took care of business in the first half of the weekend back-to-back, leading Indiana (33-38) almost the entire way. But behind Caris LeVert's 28 points and game-high 12 assists, the Pacers battled back from a deficit of as many as 14 points to pull within a single possession late in the fourth quarter.

LeVert hit a jumper with a little more than three minutes remaining, cutting the deficit to three points. James, who missed his first three 3-point attempts, responded with a successful shot from beyond the arc on a step-back off a ball screen.

That 3-pointer ignited James to seven consecutive points, pushing the Lakers' lead back to eight points with 1:43 remaining. Indiana could not draw any closer than five points for the rest of the way.

Los Angeles' Dennis Schroder scored 14 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13, Talen Horton-Tucker had 11 and Andre Drummond finished with 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Indiana's JaKarr Sampson scored 20 points, Doug McDermott had 17 and Kelan Martin added 15. Goga Bitadze made one of his game-high four blocked shots on James during Indiana's late-game rally, and also posted 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

With star forward Domantas Sabonis sidelined, however, Indiana was out-rebounded by a 45-37 margin.

Although the Pacers lost, Charlotte's defeat at New York on Saturday keeps the teams tied for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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