LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – LeBron James had 33 points and 10 assists as the host Los Angeles Lakers held off the New Orleans Pelicans 125-119 on Wednesday night.
It was the first time James and Anthony Davis faced each other since Davis demanded a trade from New Orleans late last month with the Lakers reportedly being his top choice for a new team.
Davis, who sat out the Pelicans’ 128-115 victory against Los Angeles last Saturday in New Orleans, had 22 points in 21 minutes Wednesday.
Brandon Ingram scored 23 points, Kyle Kuzma added 22, Reggie Bullock had 14, former Pelican Rajon Rondo had 11 points and 16 rebounds and JaVale McGee scored 10 as Los Angeles won for the second time in six games.
Former Laker Julius Randle led the Pelicans with 35 points, Jrue Holiday added 19 points and 10 assists, Frank Jackson had 15 points and Darius Miller 11.
The Lakers led by six points at halftime, but the Pelicans started the third quarter with a 17-6 run to take a 74-69 lead.
James made two 3-pointers and Lance Stephenson made one as the Lakers built a 90-82 lead.
New Orleans regained the lead at 92-91 before Los Angeles scored the final four points of the third quarter.
McGee scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to start a 9-0 run that gave the Lakers a 104-92 lead.
Miller ended the run with a 3-pointer, which also ended a streak of 12 consecutive 3-pointers missed by the Pelicans.
New Orleans pulled within three points on three occasions and Los Angeles answered each time before Miller’s 3-pointer pulled the Pelicans within a point with 1:38 left.
Ingram answered with a jumper and James made a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 123-117 lead with 31 seconds left.
Randle had the highest-scoring first quarter of his career with 15 points, but the Lakers scored the final eight points to take a 35-28 lead at the end of the period.
Los Angeles had a strong finish in the second quarter also. After New Orleans took a one-point lead, the Lakers finished on an 11-4 run to take a 63-57 halftime lead.