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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

LeBron James stars as Lakers extend winning run

LeBron James’ 31 points helped the Los Angeles Lakers win a third straight game with a 122-114 victory against the Sacramento Kings.

The Lakers were down 96-89 with eight minutes and 11 seconds left, before James scored 14 points and Malik Monk 11 to help turn things around.

Monk had 24 points in total to inflict the Kings’ second loss in five games.

In Toronto, Fred VanVleet starred with 33 points as the Raptors beat San Antonio Spurs 129-104.

VanVleet has now scored more than 30 points in four successive games, while Pascal Siakam added 18 points, 12 rebounds and five assists as the Raptors extended their own winning streak to three matches. The Spurs have now lost four in a row.

Elsewhere, Memphis’ Ja Morant continued his impressive run of form as the Grizzlies beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-106.

Western Conference Player of the Week Morant scored 26 points and Jaren Jackson Jr added 22 in a sixth straight win for Memphis.

For the New York Knicks, Julius Randle returned from a Covid-19 absence with a double-double – 30 points and 16 rebounds – in a 104-94 win against the Indiana Pacers.

RJ Barrett added 32 points for the hosts, condemning Indiana to a fifth straight defeat, with the Pacers missing seven players because of coronavirus.

Also hit by the virus, the Phoenix Suns overcame the absence of coach Monty Williams and starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-110.

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