(UPDATED) TJ Warren out-dueled LeBron James down the stretch, and the Indiana Pacers held off the Los Angeles Lakers, 116-111, in their fifth seeding game inside the NBA bubble in Orlando on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Warren continued his explosive play in the restart of the season, scoring 39 points as the Pacers handed the Lakers their third consecutive defeat.
Through five games, the 26-year-old Warren is averaging 34.8 points on 61.4% shooting -- including a 53-point outing against the Philadelphia 76ers. With him leading the way, the Pacers improved to 4-1 inside the bubble.
James had 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, but Anthony Davis struggled mightily on offense, making just three of his 14 attempts for eight points. Davis, who earlier in the day was named a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award, also had eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Davis' third and final field goal of the game put the Lakers ahead, 108-107, with 1:41 left after he collared a rebound off James' miss.
Warren would take over from there, however. He made back-to-back jumpers for a 111-108 advantage with 51 seconds left, and the Pacers' defense forced a missed three-pointer from Quinn Cook. Warren then drilled the dagger, firing a triple with 10 seconds to go that gave Indiana a 114-108 lead.
James made his own three-pointer to give the Lakers some hope with eight seconds left, but Victor Oladipo calmly knocked down two free throws to seal the win for the Pacers.
The Lakers, who are assured of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, have won just two of their six games in the NBA restart.
Malcolm Brogdon added 24 points and six assists, and Oladipo finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Pacers. They shot 52.4% from the field in the game.
Davis was not the only Lakers starter to struggle. Aside from James, no one from their first five reached double-digits. Cook had 21 points off the bench, and Dwight Howard contributed a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
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