Davis, Lakers top Doncic, Mavs

LOS ANGELES: Avery Bradley #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. – AFP

LOS ANGELES: Anthony Davis had 23 points and nine rebounds as the host Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 108-95 on Sunday night at Staples Center. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 19 points, converting 5 of 9 shots and 4 of 5 3-pointers, off the bench for the Lakers, while Dwight Howard scored all 15 of his points in the first half. On the eve of his 35th birthday, LeBron James finished with 13 points and 13 assists.

Luka Doncic, who entered the contest as the NBA’s third-leading scorer at 29.1 points per game, had 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting to go with seven assists. He was 0 for 6 on 3-pointers. Delon Wright added 14 points off the bench, while Kristaps Porzingis managed 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting. The Mavericks got a scare in the second quarter when Doncic crashed to the floor after being fouled by Howard on a drive to the bucket. He left the game with 2:02 remaining in the quarter but returned for the second half.

Thunder 98, Raptors 97

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander matched his career best with 32 points — including the go-ahead jumper with 36 seconds remaining — as visiting Oklahoma City edged Toronto. Chris Paul scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half as the Thunder won their fifth straight game in Toronto and sixth in their last seven contests overall. Paul added 11 rebounds and eight assists in the victory. Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet each scored 20 points for the Raptors. Patrick McCaw added 13 points, and Serge Ibaka had 12 points to go along with 14 rebounds.

Grizzlies 117, Hornets 104

Dillon Brooks scored 20 points and Memphis found numerous sources of offense to defeat visiting Charlotte. Brandon Clarke tallied 18 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 16, Grayson Allen matched a season-high mark with 15 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. supplied 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Memphis shot 17-for-17 on free throws. The sour-shooting Hornets have lost five games in a row. Malik Monk led Charlotte with 18 points off the bench, while PJ Washington and Devonte’ Graham both chipped in with 16.

Pelicans 127, Rockets 112

Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball scored 27 points each as host New Orleans defeated short-handed Houston. Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore added 25 each and Derrick Favors had 12 points and 16 rebounds as the Pelicans won for the fifth time in six games. They outscored the Rockets 41-19 in the fourth quarter. The Rockets played without James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Coach Mike D’Antoni said Harden, averaging a league-best 38.3 points, could have played but was held out to rest a sprained toe and a sore knee. Westbrook was inactive on the back end of a back-to-back after host Houston beat New Jersey 108-98 on Saturday.

Nuggets 120, Kings 115

Rookie Michael Porter Jr. had a season-high 19 points in his first career start, Will Barton also had 19 points, and host Denver handed Sacramento its seventh straight loss. Jerami Grant scored 18, Nikola Jokic had 17, Mason Plumlee had 15 off the bench, and Jamal Murray had 13 points and seven assists for Denver, which played without guard Gary Harris (left shin contusion) and forward Paul Millsap (left knee contusion). Nemanja Bjelica had 27 points, Buddy Hield scored 20, De’Aaron Fox added 18 points and 13 assists, and Richaun Holmes also scored 18 for the Kings. – Reuters