DALLAS — LeBron James drove for easy layups or quick passes to open shooters at the 3-point line early in another meeting with Dallas phenom Luka Doncic.
The 20-year-old Mavericks star played the last few minutes of the first half with a jersey he ripped into a V-neck look on a frustrating night against the player he admired growing up.
James had 35 points and 16 rebounds, Kyle Kuzma scored a season-high 26 points starting in place of injured star Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers went up big early in a 129-114 victory over the Mavericks on Friday night.
The four-time MVP scored or assisted on seven of the first nine LA baskets to help build a 22-point lead in the first half, while Doncic missed five free throws while ending up a team-worst minus-24 in scoring margin before halftime.
Hence, the torn jersey.
“I played really bad,” said Doncic, the 2019 Rookie of the Year. “I felt like I don’t know how to play basketball. It wasn’t me. I gotta get better. A lot.”
James was 14 of 25 from the field to help the Lakers shoot 53 percent, and his 16 rebounds were a season high in LA’s seventh consecutive win.
“It’s not about how many you can win in a row,” James said. “It’s just how you continue to get better every individual game and I thought we did that here.”
NETS 117, HEAT 113
NEW YORK — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 26 points and had a career-high 14 assists as Brooklyn beat Miami and snapped a seven-game losing streak.
PELICANS 123, KNICKS 111
NEW YORK — Brandon Ingram scored 28 points, Jaxson Hayes had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and New Orleans beat the Knicks.
BUCKS 127, KINGS 106
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Khris Middleton had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe scored 24 and Milwaukee beat Sacramento despite an off night for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
JAZZ 109, HORNETS 92
SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert had 15 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocked shots, leading Utah to a victory over Charlotte.
WIZARDS 111, HAWKS 101
WASHINGTON — Jordan McRae scored 29 points, Troy Brown Jr. added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington overcame a poor shooting performance to beat Atlanta.
CLIPPERS 109, WARRIORS 100
LOS ANGELES — Kawhi Leonard scored 36 points, Lou Williams added 21 and the Clippers rallied from a 10-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to defeat Golden State.
PACERS 116, BULLS 105
CHICAGO — Myles Turner set season highs with 27 points and 14 rebounds, and short-handed Indiana withstood a huge effort by Zach LaVine to beat Chicago.
GRIZZLIES 134, SPURS 121
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 24 points, Ja Morant added 22 points and a season-high 14 assists and Memphis won its fourth-straight game.
SUNS 98, MAGIC 94
PHOENIX Devin Booker scored 24 points, including late back-to-back 3-pointers, and Ricky Rubio came up with a steal and a free throw to help Phoenix rally past Orlando.