James rallies Lakers past Pacers 124-116 after suspension

Nov 24, 2021, 5:21 AM | Updated: 8:17 pm
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James reacts after hitting a shot during overtime of in the team's NBA b...

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James reacts after hitting a shot during overtime of in the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — LeBron James missed his chance to shine at Madison Square Garden this season. So, he picked up his teammates in his return Wednesday night at Indiana.

After drawing the first suspension of his career because of a fracas Sunday in Detroit, James delivered tiebreaking and back-breaking 3-pointers in overtime and finished with 39 points to help the Los Angles Lakers rally past Indiana, 124-116.

“I was excited about being in the lineup,” he said. “Me not playing last night on the second night of a back to back, I knew I could kind of give our guys a boost of energy with me not playing last night.”

James sat out Tuesday night in a loss at New York after striking Pistons center Isaiah Stewart in the face and drawing blood Sunday. James said he has not spoken with Stewart.

“I know he wanted to get this ‘W,'” coach Frank Vogel said. “He really wanted to play in that Knicks game, he looks forward to that every year. So to bounce back tonight, to quarterback the defense and carry the offense the way he did, that’s just a performance for the ages.”

James was 13 of 29 from the field and had six assists and five rebounds. And with All-Star center Anthony Davis out because of flu-like defense, James also was in charge of calling the defensive assignments in a game the Lakers never led until Malik Monk’s 3-pointer with 4:35 left in regulation.

But down the stretch, James was his usually dominant self as the Lakers won for the second time in six games.

“James is a great player, he got hot,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “We needed to do some things to limit his touches. We did not and we paid the price.”

He bailed the Lakers out of a game that had all the trademarks of a pre-holiday contest at the end of a long trip — inconsistent play, sloppiness and at times bad basketball.

Yet James & Co. found a way to finally clean it up and deliver the knockout blow.

He helped force overtime by scoring seven straight points to give the Lakers a 110-104 lead with 76 seconds left in regulation.

Russell Westbrook made two free throws with 22.6 seconds left to make it 112-109 and only an off-balance 3 by Chris Duarte and James’ errant 3 as the buzzer prevented the Lakers from winning in regulation.

James didn’t give the Pacers a second chance in overtime.

His first 3 made it 117-114 with 2:51 left. A minute later, he made the second to extend the margin to six and added a midrange jumper before Wayne Ellington closed it out. Indiana managed only one basket in the final three minutes.


Lakers: Russell Westbrook had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Monk had 17 points. Carmelo Anthony and Ellington each added 14. … DeAndre Jordan had 11 rebounds and Dwight Howard had nine. … Rajon Rondo and Kent Bazemore also did not play and were not on the pregame injury report.

Pacers: Brogdon added seven rebounds. … Domantas Sabonis had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists while Myles Turner had 12 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Just Holiday scored 16 … Indiana was 13 of 46 on 3s … After committing only two turnovers in the first half, the Pacers started the second half with three in a row. They wound up with 11.


Pacers forward T.J. Warren continues to recover from a stress fracture in his left foot and he took another significant step Wednesday. Less than three weeks after ditching the walking boot, Warren did some spot shooting during the pregame shootaround, coach Rick Carlisle told reporters before the game.

“He’s not moving that much but he is participating a little bit, which is heartwarming for us and I think for him, too,” Carlisle said. “We’ll see, I guess, on Tuesday where he’s at and then we may have a timetable.”


Lakers: Host Sacramento on Friday night.

Pacers: Host Toronto on Friday night.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Orlando Magic guard Gary Harris (14) poses while being photographed during the NBA basketball team'...
Associated Press

Magic set to lose a 2nd consecutive practice day to storm

Orlando’s training camp schedule is being disrupted by Hurricane Ian. The Magic could not practice on Wednesday because the storm was looming, and called off their practice on Thursday as well because Ian was forecast to seriously affect the Orlando area with its rain and wind. Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms ever […]
19 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge (99) flies out, next to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen during...
Associated Press

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night. The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field […]
19 hours ago
Green Bay Packers' Rasul Douglas reacts after a failed two-point conversion attempt by Tampa Bay Bu...
Associated Press

Packers proving they can win by relying on their defense

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers’ defense is meeting offseason expectations and giving this storied franchise a new look. A team that has relied on Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback production for the past three decades is winning primarily because of the defense. The Packers are scoring just 16 points per game thus […]
19 hours ago
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who is running for a second term, speaks during a campaign rall...
Associated Press

Brazil’s Bolsonaro enlists Neymar on campaign stop

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro enlisted the help of soccer star Neymar on a campaign stop Wednesday, just four days before the country’s general elections. Bolsonaro visited a non-profit youth institute set up by Neymar in the city of Praia Grande and took a call from the Paris Saint-Germain player, who thanked […]
19 hours ago
Syracuse head coach Dino Babers, right, celebrates with defensive back Garrett Williams after defea...
Associated Press

Third-and-How? ACC top teams up their third-down success

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Few things cause more anxiety in football than third down. Convert, and your offense gains momentum. Fail, and it’s a stressful wait until you get the ball again. So far, the top teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including its four undefeateds in No. 5 Clemson, No. 10 North Carolina State, […]
19 hours ago
Honey bees are swept from an upright at the beginning of the NFL football game between the Tampa Ba...
Associated Press

Displaced Bucs avoid Ian, begin preparation to face Chiefs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who moved their football operations to South Florida to avoid Hurricane Ian, remain hopeful of being able to return home to play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. The team practiced at the Miami Dolphins’ training facility on Wednesday, describing the experience as different, but insisting the disruption to their […]
19 hours ago
James rallies Lakers past Pacers 124-116 after suspension