Davis rallies Lakers in thriller over Raptors

Agence France-Presse
Davis rallies Lakers in thriller over Raptors
LeBron James congratulates Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers after he drew a foul while shooting during the second half of a game against the Toronto Raptors at the Crypto.com Arena on January 09, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images / AFP

LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis scored a season-high 41 points as the Los Angeles Lakers edged past the Toronto Raptors, 132-131, in a thrilling NBA clash on Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time).

A pulsating duel that saw no fewer than 23 lead changes swung decisively in favor of the Lakers thanks to a huge fourth-quarter display from Davis.

The eight-time All-Star erupted for 20 points in a high-scoring final period, including a perfect 11-for-11 free throws, to help the Lakers overturn a six-point deficit and claim a second straight victory.

The win followed Sunday's nail-biting derby victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, and left the Lakers at 19-19 for the season — 10th in the Western Conference.

"We'll take it, we can do better, but obviously for us that's a big-time win," a relieved Davis said after the game.

Davis received crucial scoring support throughout the lineup — something that has been a problem for Los Angeles in recent outings.

LeBron James scored 22 points while five other Lakers players finished in double digits.

"All our guys came in and did a heck of a job," Davis said.

"Obviously there's going to be a lot of attention on me and 'Bron and that's going to give the others a lot of open shots and open plays.

"We've just got to keep feeding them the ball, keep trusting them to keep making plays."

Scottie Barnes led Toronto's scorers with 26 points while Pascal Siakam finished with 25 and R.J. Barrett 23.

Magic for Wolves

In other games on Tuesday, the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to an impressive 113-92 road victory over the Orlando Magic in Florida.

The result was never in doubt after Minnesota sprinted into a 17-point lead at the end of the first quarter, and the Wolves continued to score freely — extending their advantage to 34 at one stage — as they romped to a wire-to-wire win.

Karl-Anthony Towns led the rout for Minnesota with 28 points, including a perfect 5-from-5 3-pointers.

French international Rudy Gobert also caught the eye with a dynamic all-round display, finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and a steal as Minnesota improved to 26-10 for the season.

Moritz Wagner led the Orlando scoring with 21 points.

In New York, the Knicks extended their winning streak since the acquisition of forward O.G. Anunoby to five games with a blowout 112-84 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The London-born Anunoby finished with 23 points — his highest tally since joining from Toronto in a blockbuster deal last month — in what was an easy victory for the Knicks.

New York took charge in the first quarter, outscoring the Blazers 38-22, and never looked like relinquishing their grip on the contest, stretching the lead to 39 points during the second half.

In Detroit, the Pistons slumped to their 34th defeat of the season with a 131-110 reverse against the Sacramento Kings.

Domantas Sabonis dominated the hapless Pistons defense with a game-high 37 points, finishing with 13 assists and 10 rebounds to complete his triple-double.

In Dallas, the Memphis Grizzlies responded to news of Ja Morant's season-ending shoulder surgery with an emphatic 120-103 defeat of the Mavericks.

On Monday, the Grizzlies learned that Morant, who only returned to action last month after serving a 25-game suspension for firearm-related disciplinary offences, will miss the remainder of the season after injuring a shoulder in practice at the weekend.

However the Grizzlies brushed off that bombshell to complete a comfortable win. Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 32 points while Marcus Smart added 23 including four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving topped the Dallas scorers with 33 points with Luka Doncic just behind on 31.

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