Basketball: Lakers, LeBron edge Timberwolves, Raptors beat Kings for best start in franchise history

LeBron James dribbles off the screen of JaVale McGee of the Los Angeles Lakers as Harrison Barnes of the Dallas Mavericks defends during the second half of a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Oct 31, 2018.
LeBron James dribbles off the screen of JaVale McGee of the Los Angeles Lakers as Harrison Barnes of the Dallas Mavericks defends during the second half of a game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Oct 31, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - LeBron James scored 24 points, and Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart added 21 apiece as the Los Angeles Lakers held on in a back-and-forth affair on Wednesday (Nov 7) to earn a 114-110 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves.

James added 10 rebounds and nine assists, just missing out on his second triple-double as a member of the Lakers. Brandon Ingram scored 20 points for Los Angeles, which won for the third time in the past four games.

Powered by their veteran backcourt, the Wolves got 31 points from Derrick Rose and 24 from Jimmy Butler. Minnesota remained winless away from home at 0-7, dropping its fourth consecutive game overall.

Tyson Chandler made his Lakers debut and finished with two points and six rebounds in 27 minutes. Chandler's contract was bought out by the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, and he signed with Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Raptors 114, Kings 105

Toronto forward Kawhi Leonard, who missed the two previous games with a jammed foot, scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, as the Raptors won at Sacramento.

Serge Ibaka added 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Raptors completed a four-game sweep of a Western swing for the first time in team history to go to 11-1 in their best start in franchise history.

Pascal Siakam had 21 points for Toronto, Kyle Lowry had 16 points and eight assists - breaking a streak of nine consecutive double-digit assists games - and OG Anunoby chipped in with 11 points. Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein each scored for 24 for the Kings, and De'Aaron Fox added 20.

Heat 95, Spurs 88

Hassan Whiteside posted 29 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocks to lead host Miami past San Antonio. Whiteside, who missed Miami's previous game due to a knee injury, made 10 of 18 shots from the floor and fell one block short of what would have been the fifth triple-double of his career. All four have been with points, rebounds and blocks.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington, who had only played 12 minutes this season prior to Wednesday, made his first start of the season and provided 20 points. He shot 6-for-10 on 3-point attempts as Miami stopped a nine-game losing streak against San Antonio.

San Antonio was led by Patty Mills, who had 20 points, and Davis Bertans, who added a season-high 19 points.

Spurs star DeMar DeRozan scored 18 points while corralling a career-high 14 rebounds to go with eight assists as he just missed a triple-double of his own. LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 rebounds but shot just two-of-14 from the field for six points courtesy of Whiteside's smothering defence.

76ers 100, Pacers 94

Joel Embiid had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lift Philadelphia past Indiana in Indianapolis.

Dario Saric scored 18 points and Ben Simmons added 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Sixers won for the first time in six tries on the road this season. The win also snapped an eight-game losing streak at Indiana.

Victor Oladipo scored a season high 36 points to lead the Pacers. Domantas Sabonis added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Pelicans 107, Bulls 98

Anthony Davis had 32 points and 15 rebounds in a return to form as hosts New Orleans ended a six-game losing streak with a victory against Chicago.

Davis, who missed three games and struggled in three others during the losing streak because of an elbow strain, looked his old self as he added seven assists, a steal and four blocks. Jrue Holiday added 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 22 points, while Jabari Parker had 20 points and 13 rebounds. Rookie big man Wendell Carter Jr had another strong showing with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Jazz 117, Mavericks 102

Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points to lead six Utah players in double figures during a win over Dallas at Salt Lake City.

Alec Burks scored 18 points for Utah, and Rudy Gobert had his 10th double-double in 11 games, contributing 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Jazz finally managed to record their first home win in five tries, which was never in doubt with the Jazz up 68-45 at half-time.

Rookie Luka Doncic was Dallas' top scorer, as he poured in 24 points. The Mavericks' starting five also combined for 18 turnovers against the Jazz defence, with the team as a whole turning the ball over 24 times to Utah's 11.

Grizzlies 89, Nuggets 87

Marc Gasol hit two tie-breaking free throws with 4.6 seconds remaining, and Memphis survived two late misses by Denver to remain unbeaten at home.

The Nuggets had one shot at a win and a second at a tie in the final 2.4 seconds, but Nikola Jokic misfired on a 3-point attempt and Murray, after grabbing the rebound, failed to connect on a short jumper just before the final horn.

Gasol and Jaren Jackson Jr finished with 20 points apiece for the Grizzlies, who improved to 4-0 on the season at home. Gary Harris had 20 points to lead the Nuggets, who had won five straight.

Nuggets center Jokic was coming off a US$25,000 (S$34,250) fine for offensive language and the late 3-point attempt was his only field goal attempt of the night. He finished with four points, seven rebounds, four assists and six turnovers.

Knicks 112, Hawks 107

Tim Hardaway Jr. showed no ill effects from the bad back that caused him to miss the previous game, scoring 34 points to lead New York to a win at Atlanta.

The Knicks also got 17 points and 11 rebounds from Enes Kanter. Allonzo Trier scored 16 points and Frank Ntilikina scored 14 before fouling out.

Atlanta was led by rookie Omari Spellman's 18 points and 10 rebounds, career highs in both categories. Kent Bazemore added 16 points and seven rebounds, and Taurean Price scored 16 points.

Thunder 95, Cavaliers 86

Dennis Schroder scored a season-high 28 points as Oklahoma City picked up its sixth consecutive win, a decision over host Cleveland. He also failed to record a single assist while deputising for point guard Russell Westbrook, who turned his left ankle Monday in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Paul George finished with 18 points for the Thunder, and Jerami Grant scored 12 points.

Rookie Collin Sexton scored 15 points to lead Cleveland, which dropped its fourth game in a row, while wantaway veteran JR Smith added 13 points on five-of-17 shooting.

Pistons 103, Magic 96

Detroit overcame two double-digit deficits to earn a victory at Orlando. The result snapped a five-game losing streak for the Pistons, who had started the season 4-0 before the skid.

Andre Drummond finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds, including 19 points and 12 rebounds before halftime, to lead Detroit. Blake Griffin scored 20 points, and Reggie Jackson added 15.

Evan Fournier, who hit a game-winning shot Monday night against the Cavaliers, scored 27 points Wednesday to lead the Magic. D.J. Augustin added 16 points, and Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross had 15 points apiece.