LeBron James took over in the fourth quarter to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 128-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at STAPLES Center, extending their win streak to nine games.
James scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the final frame, adding eight assists on the night, while shooting an efficient 12-of-16 from the field.
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With his third dime of the night, James picked up another piece of history, passing Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas (9,061) to move up to eighth on the NBA's all-time assist list.
"One of the best point guards this game has ever seen," James said of Thomas in his on-court interview post-game.
"And also one of the toughest as well. Just his upbringing, coming from Chicago, doing the things he was able to do on the floor. From Indiana going to the Bad Boys in Detroit, just setting the tone for what he wanted his career to be."
"Anytime I'm linked with the greats, and 'Zeke being one of those, it's just an honour, and I think back to my childhood and where I'm from."
James is the only player to rank in the top 10 in both career points and career assists and currently leads the league in assists at 10.7 per game.
Congrats to @KingJames of the @Lakers for moving up to 8th on the all-time ASSISTS list! #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/sK0YRLC8pv- NBA (@NBA) January 14, 2020
In the absence of Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard controlled the inside with a big peformance off the bench, pouring in 21 points and 15 rebounds on 9-of-11 from the field - even knocking down his third three-pointer of the season.
The Lakers have now gone 3-0 without Davis, who is currently sidelined with a back injury.
Dwight's getting comfortable from 3-point land! ☔️ pic.twitter.com/HrIN5Gbcpa- NBA (@NBA) January 14, 2020
Six Lakers scored in double figures, with Avery Bradley adding 12 and Kyle Kuzma 11, while Alex Caruso and Danny Green finished with 10 points apiece.
"I think it's an incredible thing, what we have right now, as far as chemistry and as far as guys always being ready no matter who's in the lineup and tonight was another example of that," James added.
Despite the final margin, the Lakers were made to work by the Cavs, who led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, before James and Kyle Kuzma combined to help cut the deficit at the half to just one-point.
From there the Lakers seized control of the game, outscoring the Cavs 37-22 in the third, behind a 13-0 run powered by James, Kuzma, JaVale McGee and Avery Bradley to enter the fourth with a 14-point lead (84-70).
They kept their foot on the gas in the fourth, outscoring the Cavs 44-29, with their 81 second-half points, the franchise's most in any half since 1987 vs Portland.
LeBron shares a moment with K-Love and Tristan postgame ✊ pic.twitter.com/wFGEvzo2Kz- NBA TV (@NBATV) January 14, 2020
For the Cavs, Kevin Love led the way with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists, while Tristan Thompson added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Darius Garland and Collin Sexton scored 16 points apiece and Cedi Osman finsiehd with 15.
The Lakers will look to extend their win streak to 10 games on Thursday, when they take on the Orlando Magic, while the Cavaliers host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.