LOS ANGELES (AP) – LeBron James had 28 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds while leading the Los Angeles Lakers’ late rally for his first home victory at Staples Center, 128-111, over the previously unbeaten Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Kyle Kuzma scored 22 points and JaVale McGee added 21 to complement James’ 74th career triple-double, his first with his new team.
With Kobe Bryant watching from a courtside seat for the first time since LeBron’s arrival in LA, the Lakers trailed by eight points with six minutes left in the fourth quarter before Lance Stephenson started a 15-2 rally with back-to-back 3-pointers. Stephenson finished with 12 points.
James got Staples Center rocking on a go-ahead dunk with 3:31 to play before Lonzo Ball made an artful step-back 3-pointer. Kuzma added two huge dunks down the stretch of Los Angeles’ second win in two days after an 0-3 start.
Nikola Jokic scored 24 points for the Nuggets, who were off to their best start since the 2009-10 season. Jamal Murray scored 22 points and Monte Morris had 20, but Denver couldn’t answer the Lakers’ rally led by James, who posted his third career triple-double in Staples Center for his third different team.
CELTICS 101, THUNDER 95
Jayson Tatum scored 24 points, and Boston rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to beat winless Oklahoma City.
Marcus Morris added 21 points, Al Horford had 19 and Kyrie Irving 15.
Paul George scored 22 points for Oklahoma City, but shot just 7 of 22. Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, but he shot 5 for 20. The Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers are the only winless teams in the NBA.
Morris hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to give the Celtics a 98-95 lead, and they held on.
Oklahoma City led 50-34 at halftime. Boston shot just 32 percent in the first half and missed all 11 of its 3-point attempts.
TRAIL BLAZERS 128, MAGIC 114
Damian Lillard scored 34 of his 41 points in the second half to help Portland beat Orlando.
CJ McCollum added 22 points, and Jusuf Nurkic had 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Terrence Ross had 21 points.
Lillard and McCollum re-entered the game with 7:54 left after Orlando cut a 13-point deficit to three at 102-99 on Gordon’s second 3-pointer of the quarter. The guards combined to score 22 of Portland’s final 26 points to seal the win. Lillard had 19 points in the third quarter.
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