– LeBron James finished with 35 points and 16 rebounds while battling
a virus as the Los Angeles Lakers won their seventh straight game with a
129-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

The flu-weakened James was a questionable start against
Dallas, but the Lakers couldn’t afford to be without him as they were already
missing their leading scorer Anthony Davis because of an injury.

“I was just trying to be aggressive and trying to set
the tone for the offence and defence,” said James, who moved into fourth
place ahead of Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time field goal list. 

“It was a big loss not having Anthony Davis which meant
we all have to pick up our individual games.”

James now has made 12,197 field goals to move closer to Wilt
Chamberlain, who is in third place with 12,681.

Davis, who leads the team in scoring with a 27.1 average,
took a hard fall against the New York Knicks and suffered a bruised behind.

Both clubs were without key players on Friday. The Mavericks
have played their past six games without 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis
(right knee soreness), who is second on the team in scoring with a 17.3

Leading scorer Luka Doncic finished with 25 points, 10
rebounds and seven assists but once again the Lakers tried to take the young
star off his game by bumping him every chance they got. Doncic finished with
six turnovers.

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle complained earlier this week
that teams were “beating the crap” out of Doncic this season and he
took exception to some of the calls on Friday night. Doncic was knocked in the
head a couple of times in the Mavs previous three games with the Lakers this

At one point Carlisle got into a verbal exchange with James
after Carlisle complained to the officials that James was getting off easy
compared to his young star.

Carlisle, who was also upset at his players for their poor
defence, got thrown out of the game early in the fourth quarter for arguing
with the officials.

Kyle Kuzma, who started in place of Davis, finished with 26

Elsewhere, Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points as the Utah Jazz
extended their league leading winning streak to eight games with a 102-92 win
over the Charlotte Hornets.

The Jazz started fast and never let up, winning their sixth
consecutive home game and improving to 26-12 on the season in front of a crowd
of 18,300 at Vivint Smart Arena.

Rudy Gobert added 15 points with 13 rebounds, Bojan
Bogdanovic scored 16 points and Georges Niang added 15 for the Jazz, who now
head out on a three-game road trip through Washington, Brooklyn and New

Terry Rozier scored 23 points and Miles Bridges added 11 as
the Hornets lost their third consecutive game and lost for the ninth time in
their last 11 games.

Elsewhere, red-hot power forward Brandon Ingram scored a
game high 28 points as the New Orleans Pelicans handed the New York Knicks
their fifth straight NBA defeat with a 123-111 win.

The Pelicans pulled away in the second half to win their
eighth game in the last 11 and improve to 14-25 on the season.

– Hot streak –

New Orleans has been one of the hottest teams in the NBA
since they snapped a franchise record 13-game losing streak in mid-December.

The Knicks have lost five straight — their second losing
streak of at least five games this season. 

Ingram also had nine assists and six rebounds in the win. He
has scored at least 25 points in seven of his past 11 games. 

Jaxson Hayes posted a double-double with 18 points and 10
rebounds for the Pelicans. He shot a superb seven of eight from the field with
his only miss coming on his last shot of the game. 

In Washington, Jordan McRae scored 29 points and the
short-handed Washington Wizards overcame a six-point fourth quarter deficit to
defeat the visiting Atlanta Hawks 111-101.


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