LeBron James scores 46 in Lakers blowout loss to Clippers

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James hit a career-high nine 3-pointers scoring 46 points, but the Los Angeles Clippers hit 19 3-pointers en route to a comfortable 133-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

James scored at least 40 points against the Clippers for the first time in his 20-year career, giving him a 40-point game against all 30 NBA teams. James hit his record-breaking ninth 3-pointer with 6:45 left, setting a career-high from range in his 1,404th game.

“I was able to take a few shots tonight and try to help us stay in the game,” James said. “But the Clippers, they’re really good. Exceptionally good when they shoot the 3-ball, and tonight they did.

Indeed, James’ brilliance wasn’t enough: The Lakers never caught up after falling 23 points behind, and James spent the final minutes on the bench after the Clippers pulled out for their 10th straight win over their downtown arena housemates. Los Angeles since former Lakers guard Tyronn Lue became Clippers coach.

James also stepped up his pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career record with his 101st 40-point game, including the playoffs. He trails Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) by just 177 points, putting him in position to potentially break the record at the end of the Lakers’ next five-game road swing instead of returning home to Los Angeles.

LeBron James, who scored 46 points, goes up for a dunk in the Lakers’ 133-115 loss to the Clippers.
NBAE via Getty Images

“I came to this place without even thinking about it,” James said. “Just being in the moment, trying to play the game the right way. Even tonight, at the same time I was shooting the ball, I was still trying to distribute to my guys, to make sure they felt some type of rhythm. That’s always how I played the game.”

Paul George had 27 points and nine rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard added 25 points in the Clippers’ third straight victory. The Clippers never trailed largely because they hit a season-high 15 3-pointers in the first half while scoring a season-high 77 points in the first half.

LeBron James and coach Darvin Ham argue with officials during the Lakers loss.
LeBron James and coach Darvin Ham argue with officials during the Lakers loss.

“(James) had a great shooting game, but we weathered the storm,” Lue said. “When they cut (the lead) to 10 and LeBron is on fire like that…we just tried to knock everybody out and make it go one-on-one.”

Norman Powell had 22 points and Reggie Jackson added 19 for the Clippers.

“We were forcing them to take really tough shots, and they were just making them,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “Against a great team like that, you have to play almost perfectly to overcome that deficit.”

Russell Westbrook scored 17 points and Thomas Bryant added 15 for the Lakers, who could pick up Anthony Davis on Wednesday after missing 20 games with a right foot injury.

“The possibilities are limitless,” Ham said with a smile.

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