Basketball

Lakers squander 14pt lead before triumphing

James makes tie-breaking free-throw with 2.1sec left for dramatic win over Mavs

LeBron James made a tie-breaking free-throw with 2.1 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Lakers held on for a 114-113 win over the visiting Dallas Mavericks in an NBA match yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Mavericks tied the score after trailing by 19 points in the third quarter and by 14 points in the last four minutes of the game.

After James hit one of two free-throws to restore Los Angeles' lead, Dallas' JJ Barea missed a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

James scored 14 of his 29 points in the third quarter as all five starters scored in double figures for Los Angeles, who ended a two-game skid.

Kyle Kuzma scored 18 points for the Lakers, Brandon Ingram had 17 and JaVale McGee finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds for his first double-double in 18 months.

Wesley Matthews scored 21 points to lead the Mavericks, who lost their fifth straight. Harrison Barnes added 19 points, and Barea had 15 points and 10 assists off the bench.

The Lakers had a 14-point lead with 4:16 to play after James sank a lay-up.

Dallas chipped away before Harrison Barnes sank a 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left to cut the deficit to 112-111, and Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic scored off a drive to tie the score at 113-113 with 7.2 seconds remaining.

James was fouled away from the basket on the ensuing possession. He missed the first free- throw but made the second.

Doncic came in averaging 20.4 points, tops among rookies, but didn't score his first points until 4:50 left in the third quarter. He finished with 14 points and seven assists.

James made back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third quarter for a 76-64 lead, and the Lakers maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the quarter.

In Oakland, Stephen Curry scored 16 of his game-high 37 points in the third quarter, helping the Golden State Warriors run off to a 15-point lead en route to a 131-121 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The home game on Halloween was the Warriors' first since the 2000 opener against Phoenix. It also was the clubs' first meeting since their Western Conference semi-final playoff series last May, which the Warriors won 4-1 on their way to a second consecutive championship.

Curry hit four 3-pointers in the third period, while Kevin Durant and Draymond Green added one apiece as Golden State, who led by just seven with four minutes remaining in the quarter, ran off to a 107-92 lead and coasted home.

Curry shot 12-for-20 overall and 7-for-11 on 3-point attempts en route to his sixth 30-point game of the season. - REUTERS

Basketball