Anthony Davis, LeBron James take charge as Lakers beat Bucks in thriller

Milwaukee: Anthony Davis scored a season-high 44 points, LeBron James passed Magic Johnson on the NBA career assists list and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 133-129 in a thriller on Friday night.

Davis and James helped Lakers coach Derwin Ham lead a winning return to Milwaukee. Haim worked with Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer’s staff from 2018-22, and the former colleagues shared a big hug before the game.

Hamm, an assistant coach for Milwaukee’s 2021 championship team, also played for the Bucks from 1999-2002.

The Lakers came off a 40-point night from Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, who also had seven rebounds and five assists. The Lakers also spoiled the season debut of Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, who had 17 points and seven assists in his return from off-season wrist surgery.

During a fourth quarter that included three ties and six lead changes, James sank the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3:22 left to put the Lakers ahead for good.

James finished with 28 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. He improved his career assist total to 10,144 and moved into sixth place on the list, ahead of Johnson (10,133).

Heat 120 Celtics 116, OT

In Boston, Bam Adebayo scored 28 points, Tyler Herro had 26 and Miami completed a two-game split in Boston after Boston banked in a long 3-pointer by Jaylen Brown to force overtime. Defeated.

Heat scoring leader Jimmy Butler returned to the lineup and scored 25 points in 36 minutes, having missed the previous seven games due to right knee pain. He added 15 rebounds.

Kyle Lowry chipped in with 20 points before fouling out in OT for the Heat, which sent Boston to just its second loss in 16 games.

The Browns sent the game to overtime by banking in their long 3 with 1.7 seconds to play in regulation. He finished with 37 points.

Boston star Jayson Tatum scored just 14 points on a cold shooting night, going 5 of 18 from the floor, including 0 of 7 on 3-point attempts. He had 49 points in the Celtics’ 134–121 win on Wednesday night.

Rockets 122 Suns 121

In Phoenix, Jalen Green scored 21 of his 30 points in the second half, and Houston overcame a 16-point deficit to stun short-handed Phoenix.

Houston pulled away with a six-point lead in the final two minutes to win. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne made back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 121, but the Rockets moved ahead by one point when Green made one of two free throws with 28.8 seconds remaining.

This set up a frantic final possession that included four missed shots by the Suns, including a 16-foot jumper by Booker at the buzzer.

It was one of few blunders for Booker, who led the Suns with 41 points on 15-of-25 shooting. The three-time All-Star is in the midst of one of the best scoring stretches of his career. He had 44 points at Sacramento on Monday night and 51 at home against Chicago on Wednesday night.

Hawks 117 Nuggets 109

In Atlanta, Dejaunte Murray scored 34 points, rookie AJ ​​Griffin tied a career high with 24 subbing for the injured Trae Young, and short-handed Atlanta beat Denver.

Denver star Nikola Jokic, the two-time defending NBA MVP, had just four points on 2-of-5 shooting in the first half but finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

The Hawks were riddled with injuries prior to the game, with Young, their leading scorer, sidelined due to soreness in his right shoulder and John Collins out at least two weeks and De’Andre Hunter at least Was out for a week. Overall, there were eight players listed on Atlanta’s injury report.

Hornets 117 Wizards 116

In Charlotte, NC, Terry Rozier scored 25 points, Kelly Aubrey Jr. added 22 and Charlotte held off second-half rallies by Bradley Beal and Washington to hand the Wizards their fifth loss in six games.

PJ Washington had 21 points and Mason Plumlee had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets. He has won three of his last four.

Beal scored 33 points, but turned the ball over twice and missed an open jumper in the final minute, with Washington trailing by one.

Nets 114 Raptors 105

In New York, Kyrie Irving scored 27 points, and Brooklyn defeated Toronto for its fourth consecutive win.

Brooklyn led by 36 points midway through the second quarter and held a 93–72 advantage early in the fourth.

Kevin Durant had 17 points and Nick Claxton had 15 for the Nets.

Pascal Siakam scored 24 points for Toronto.

Pelicans 117 Spurs 99

In San Antonio, Zion Williamson scored 30 points and matched career highs with 15 rebounds and San Antonio’s New Orleans loss to the Spurs without coach Greg Popovich.

Jonas Valancius added 21 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which won three straight and eight of 10 to stay atop the Southwest Division ahead of Memphis.

San Antonio lost 10 straight in 1987, equaling the franchise’s longest losing streak.

Popovich was at the AT&T Center, but missed the game due to a minor medical procedure. He will also miss Sunday’s home game against Phoenix. Former Philadelphia coach Brett Brown coached the Spurs in Popovich’s absence.

Grizzlies 117 76ers 109

In Memphis, Tennessee, Ja Morant had 28 points and eight rebounds, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 22 points and four blocks – one in the final minute – and Memphis defeated Philadelphia.

Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points to help Memphis win for the third time in four games.

Joel Embiid had 35 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Philadelphia. Tobias Harris added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Shaq Milton had 17 points and six assists.

The Grizzlies led by 18 early in the fourth, but the 76ers had another push left, cutting Memphis’ lead to single digits with almost five minutes to go and 111–106 with three minutes to go.

Cavaliers 107 Magic 96

In Cleveland, Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points, Evan Mobley had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Cleveland defeated Orlando.

Mitchell poured in 16 points in the first nine minutes, one-out Orlando, and the Cavaliers never relinquished control. Cleveland finally won for the 10th time in 11 home games this season.

Rookie forward Paolo Banchero scored an NBA-worst 22 points for Orlando. They fell to 5–18 after losing seven straight.