Marcio Jose Sanchez
Lakers rally to bury Nuggets, depleted Trail Blazers upset Sixers
James recorded his second triple double of the season and 96th of his career as the Lakers came from behind to win.

LEBRON JAMES HAD a triple double of 27 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a double digit halftime deficit to pull away in the second half for a 114-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

James recorded his second triple double of the season and 96th of his career as the Lakers opened their five-game homestand with an impressive come-from-behind win.

Dennis Schroder scored 21 points, Talen Horton-Tucker had 17 for the defending NBA champions who improved to 17-6 on the season.

Anthony Davis said the Lakers had to make some adjustments at halftime, especially with their defence.

“We were not getting any stops. We knew we could score at will but we needed to get some stops. Guys talked in locker room and we were able to come out in that third quarter and hold them to 13 points,” said Davis. 

With his third basket in the third quarter, James surpassed Wilt Chamberlain (12,681) for number three on career field goals made list.

Canadian Jamal Murray scored 20 points and Monte Morris added 16 for the Nuggets, who suffered their second loss in eight games.

Nikola Jokic, who was coming off a 47-point performance in his previous game, struggled to just 13 points and 10 rebounds.

This was the first meeting between the teams since the Lakers captured the conference finals 4-1 over the Nuggets last season.

The Nuggets looked out of sorts coming off a surprise four day break after Monday’s contest at home against the Detroit Pistons was postponed because Detroit did not have the required eight players available due to Covid-19 protocols. 

In Philadelphia, Carmelo Anthony delivered a throwback performance by scoring 22 points as the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers stunned the Eastern Conference juggernaut Philadelphia 76ers 121-105.

The depleted Blazers won despite an array of injuries that got worse earlier Thursday with the announcement that marquee player Damian Lillard was ruled out of the contest with an abdominal strain that had been hampering him for several games.

Portland only had nine players available. They were was also missing Jusuf Nurkic (broken wrist), CJ McCollum (broken foot) and Derrick Jones (sprained foot), among others.

But the Trail Blazers are deep in talent and it showed against the Sixers as Gary Trent scored 24 points and Swiss Enes Kanter finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds in the win at the Wells Fargo Center arena.

“On both ends of the floor, the other guys did an amazing job today,” said Kanter.

Anthony shot eight of 14, dished out five assists and drained three of four threes.

Despite the revolving door on the infirmary this season, the Blazers have managed to win 12 of their first 20 games, including Thursday’s shocker over the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference.

“It was just a different energy with the team,” Portland’s C.J. Elleby said. 

Joel Embiid scored a game high 37 points, Furkan Korkmaz had 13 and Tyrese Maxey came off the bench to score 15 points for Philadelphia.

Embiid scored 31 of his points in the first half after an injury scare. Embiid hyperextended his knee in the first quarter after landing awkwardly while playing defence. He limped off the floor to receive medical treatment but returned after about three minutes.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons was a late scratch due to a sore left calf. Seth Curry, who was reportedly ill, went scoreless through 12 minutes of playing time for the Sixers who had their four-game winning streak halted.

Elsewhere, Kelly Oubre exploded for a career-high 40 points as the visiting Golden State Warriors overpowered the Dallas Mavericks 147-116 in the opener of a two-game set.

Also, Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 23 points and the Utah Jazz hammered the short-handed Atlanta Hawks 112-91 for their 13th win in 14 games.

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