– LeBron James started hot and Anthony Davis found his groove
Wednesday as the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from an embarrassing loss to
the Boston Celtics with a 100-92 win over the Knicks in New York.

James scored 19 of his 21 points in the first half and Davis
scored 17 of his game-high 28 in the second, continuing to improve in his
second game back from a five-game absence because of a bruised backside.

It was a welcome return to form for the NBA Western
Conference leaders, who endured their worst defeat of the season on Monday in a
139-107 loss to the Celtics in Boston.

“Obviously the one in Boston we didn’t come to play at
all, no way, shape or form,” Davis said. “We try not to lose two in a
row, we bounced back tonight with a great win against a hungry team. 

“We just want to make sure we keep playing Laker
basketball, keep playing defensively, keep pushing the pace offensively.

“When we do those things we’re a tough team to

The Lakers, who improved to 35-9, had 13 points from
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and 10 from Kyle Kuzma.

James connected on eight of 10 shots in 17 minutes in the
first half, but the Lakers were 48-48 at halftime against a Knicks team that is
third from bottom in the East.

Although he had a quiet second half in terms of scoring,
James came up with four of his five steals after the break.

“It was a slow-paced game so defensive stops were very
key to our success tonight,” James said. “I tried to start off the game
being aggressive and I was able to get myself going. AD was able to facilitate
down the stretch and it was good basketball.”

New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson flashed some brilliance
in his long-awaited NBA debut Wednesday, but the San Antonio Spurs spoiled the
party at Smoothie King Center with a 121-117 victory over the Pelicans.

Williamson, who was the number one overall draft pick in
June, offered a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come in his career when he
exploded for 17 points in little more than three minutes in the fourth quarter.

The 19-year-old sensation had been sidelined since
arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on the eve of the Pelicans’
season-opener in October.

He made a tentative start, scoring just five points with
four rebounds, one assist four turnovers in less than 12 minutes on the floor
over the first three quarters.

With 8:52 remaining and the Spurs up 99-91, Williamson
connected with a three-pointer from the top of the key that ignited the crowd
of 18,365.

He followed up with an alley-oop layup, fed by Lonzo Ball,
drained a trey and put back his own miss with a spinning layup before adding
two more three-pointers.

The crowd was chanting “M-V-P!” as he capped the
burst with a free-throw, but he was soon subbed out of the game as Pelicans
coach Alvin Gentry stuck to the plan of playing Williamson only in short

“I think what you saw there is a taste,” Gentry
said. “There’s a lot of potential there.”

He said he’d counseled Williamson at halftime to be more
aggressive, and he was pleased to see him deliver.



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