James stars, leads Lakers past Rockets


    HOUSTON. — LeBron James produced his 31st double-double, Kyle Kuzma chipped in 23 points and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers turned a third-quarter defensive clinic into a 124-115 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

    The Lakers delivered an efficient offensive display without their leading scorer, Anthony Davis, by following James’ lead. James paired a team-high 31 points with a game-high 12 assists to steward the Lakers. Their defensive might turned the tide in the third, which they won 32-17.

    JaVale McGee and former Rockets center Dwight Howard recorded three blocks each, while Danny Green had four steals. The Lakers posted 13 steals and nine blocks while limiting the Rockets to 12-for-37 shooting from behind the arc.

    Russell Westbrook (35 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) and James Harden (34 points, seven assists) paced the Rockets, who have dropped three straight and four of five. Houston committed 20 turnovers.

    In other game, it was Phoenix 123, Boston 119; LA Clippers 133, New Orleans 130; Oklahoma 119, Portland 106; Toronto 122, Minnesota 112; Milwaukee 117, Brooklyn 97; Philadelphia 90, New York 87; Utah 123, Sacramento 101; Detroit 136, Atlanta 103; Golden State 109, Orlando 95; and Chicago 118, Cleveland 116.

    Suns 123, Celtics 119

    Devin Booker scored 39 points and fell an assist shy of his first career triple-double as visiting Phoenix held off undermanned Boston.

    Booker added 10 rebounds, Deandre Ayton had 26 points and 15 boards and Mikal Bridges scored a career-high 26, as the Suns won for the fourth time in their last five. Dario Saric scored 13 with 11 rebounds and five assists.