LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James welcomed Anthony Davis back with a lob pass for the game's first basket, then turned to his own offense to score 33 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' 106-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.
Davis had eight points in 25 minutes after missing 17 games with a sprained left knee and the Lakers got good nights off the bench from Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony.
James added seven rebounds and six assists, punctuating his performance with steals and dunks about 15 seconds apart midway through the fourth quarter in front of a roaring road crowd that didn't have most of its own stars to cheer.
Monk scored 22 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and Anthony added 13.
James Harden had 33 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in an impressive follow-up to his strong game in Los Angeles when the Nets won there on Christmas. But with Kevin Durant still out with a sprained left knee ligament and the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving unavailable again now that the Nets are back from their four-game road trip, the Nets couldn't match the Lakers on one of their good nights in an uneven season.
Davis looked in sync right away, throwing down a lob pass from James on the first possession of the game. He also blocked three shots in the first quarter, which ended with the Lakers leading 33-25 on James' basket as time expired.
James opened the second quarter with a three-point play to push the lead to 11, and the Lakers would lead by as much as 14 before taking a 62-53 lead to halftime.
The Nets got within two midway through the third, but James made two straight jumpers, Monk hit a 3-pointer and James fired a pass to a cutting Russell Westbrook that led to a three-point play that capped a quick 10-2 spurt and restored the double-digit lead at 81-71. It wasn't close again.
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