LOS ANGELES (AFP) — LeBron James moved a step closer to passing Kobe Bryant on the all-time NBA scoring list with his 10th triple double of the season as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Brooklyn Nets, 128-113.
James finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to post his 91st career triple double in front of a crowd of 17,700 at Barclays Arena that included former United States President Bill Clinton.
James received a standing ovation from the Brooklyn crowd when he left the game for good late in the fourth quarter with the Lakers holding a big lead.
There was so little defense played in the first half of the contest that for a while it appeared James might have a chance at catching Bryant for third place in the NBA all-time scoring list.
James ended the game at 33,626 points, 17 shy of Bryant. His next chance at passing Bryant will be Saturday in Philadelphia.
“To be linked with the greats means a lot to me,” said James, who was named a starter for the 2020 NBA All-Star game earlier in the day. “I grew up idolizing Michael (Jordan) and Kobe, gaining inspiration from their crafts and their stories.”
James shot 11 of 19 from the floor as the Lakers shot 50 percent overall and hit a season-high 19 three-pointers.
Anthony Davis added 16 points and 11 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma had 16 as the Lakers got 55 points from their bench. Danny Green hit four three-pointers and contributed 14 points.
The Nets dropped their fifth straight game and fell to 2-12 in their last 14 games.
Kyrie Irving scored a team high 20 points, Taurean Prince added 18 while Caris LeVert contributed 16 as the Nets lost despite hitting 21 three-pointers.
Elsewhere, Bradley Beal scored 36 points as the Washington Wizards extended the Cleveland Cavaliers losing skid to six straight games with a 124-112 victory.
The visiting Wizards shot 55.3 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range in front of a crowd of 19,400 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse arena.
Beal made 15-of-22 shots, one night after a 38-point performance in the Wizards’ 134-129 overtime loss to the Miami Heat.
The Wizards victory avenges a 113-100 loss to Cleveland on 8 November.
Davis Bertans and Ish Smith both chipped in 17 points for the Wizards, who improved to 6-18 on the road this season.
Collin Sexton highlighted his 29-point performance by making 10 of 15 shots from the floor for the Cavaliers.
Larry Nance tallied a career-high-tying 22 points along with 12 rebounds while Kevin Love added 21 points for Cleveland, who had lost 11 of its last 13 contests.