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Anthony Davis leads LA Lakers to victory over Phoenix Suns

Despite again missing LeBron James, the defending champions won 123-110 to boost their play-off prospects.

ANTHONY DAVIS SCORED 42 points and 12 rebounds in LeBron James’ absence to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 123-110 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

With James missing his fourth straight game due to a sprained ankle, Davis led the way as the home side jumped to a 59-47 lead at half-time and held on comfortably.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso each had 17 points as the defending champions, clinging to seventh in the Western Conference, won for just the third time in their past 11 games.

Cameron Payne recorded 24 points for the second-placed Suns, while Devin Booker registered 21 points and Mikal Bridges 15.

Derrick Rose scored 25 points off the bench as the New York Knicks won 106-100 at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Reggie Bullock had 24 points, including five three-pointers, while RJ Barrett claimed 18 points as the Knicks – fourth in the Eastern Conference – snapped an eight-game losing streak at the Staples Centre.

Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points and Paul George 18 as the playoff-bound Clippers’ two-game winning streak ended in its home finale of the regular season.

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Jimmy Butler had 26 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds to help the Miami Heat stave off the Boston Celtics 130-124 in a battle for position in the tight Eastern Conference play-off race.

Duncan Robinson added 22 points and Bam Adebayo had 20 for Miami, who increased their lead over Boston to two games for sixth place in the standings, with the top eight to progress to the post-season.

Evan Fournier scored 30 points for Boston in what was the first of two straight games between the two sides.

Elsewhere, the Dallas Mavericks won 124-97 at the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Charlotte Hornets 112-110, the Minnesota Timberwolves secured a 128-96 win at the Orlando Magic, the Chicago Bulls saw off the Detroit Pistons 108-96 and the Sacramento Kings beat the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 126-98.

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