LeBron inspires Lakers win over Wizards
LeBron James had 23 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Washington Wizards 124-106 on Tuesday night for their first back-to-back victories since mid-January.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 29 points and JaVale McGee had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who had lost 20-of-27 and plummeted out of the playoff race since their last set of consecutive wins.
Two days after beating Sacramento, the Lakers comfortably won this meeting of 11th-place teams whose playoff dreams have been wrecked by injuries. Washington has lost John Wall and Dwight Howard, while the Lakers do not have Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart or Reggie Bullock.
Bradley Beal scored 21 of his 32 points in the second half for the Wizards, who opened a four-game road trip with their fifth straight loss. Washington (30-45) is on the brink of missing the playoffs for just the second time in six seasons.
The Lakers are out for the sixth consecutive season, tripling the previous longest postseason absence in franchise history.
Los Angeles opened a 19-point lead in the third quarter despite Beal's 17 points in the period. Washington trimmed it to single digits midway through the fourth, but James and Caldwell-Pope hit big shots down the stretch.
James fell three rebounds short of his second consecutive triple-double. He is fourth in the NBA with eight triple-doubles this season even though he has only played in 54 games during his first year with the Lakers.
The Lakers are at the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.