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LeBron James shines as in-form Lakers fight back to thrash Cavaliers

NBA roundup: LeBron James leads fightback against Cavaliers
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Cleveland had led by 14 points in the second quarter but ended up losing by 29.

LeBron James led the way as the LA Lakers fought back to thrash the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-99 to record a ninth-successive victory.

The Lakers trailed by 14 points in the second period but managed to turn the tide and, on the back of an impressive second-half showing where they outscored Cleveland 81-51, ran out comfortable winners in the end.

James shone once again, pouring in a game-high 31 points and grabbing eight assists – moving him up to eighth in the all-time list – as the Lakers cemented their position on top of the Western Conference table.

In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics moved up to second place with a 113-101 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Jayson Tatum scored 21 points and Jaylen Brown added 19 as the Celtics made it back-to-back wins after a season-high three-game losing streak.

Chicago, for whom Zach LaVine scored 30 points, have now lost seven of their last eight games to remain stuck in 10th place in the same conference.

The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Pistons 117-110 in Detroit in a game that went to overtime.

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum (right) helped the Boston Celtics to victory (Charles Krupa/AP)

Both teams were short on stars due to injuries and the Pistons made it even harder on themselves by blowing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter.

But Lonzo Ball was a key difference, scoring five of his 17 points in overtime.

New Orleans have won three of their last four games but remain second bottom in the Western Conference, while Detroit have now lost three straight and 12 of their last 15 games to lie 11th in the Eastern.

In Indianapolis, the Philadelphia 76ers led by 11 points midway through the third quarter – and were ahead by three with 3.36 left on the clock – but still lost to the Pacers 101-95.

TJ Warren scored 21 points and produced a late block to help the Pacers turn the game in their favour.

Myles Turner made two free throws with 1.41 to go to put Indiana back into a lead they did not let go of again. Ben Simmons led the 76ers with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Elsewhere, the Minnesota Timberwolves lost 117-104 at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Kings were edged out 114-112 by the Orlando Magic in Sacramento and in Portland, the Trail Blazers beat the Charlotte Hornets 115-112.

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) shoots over Atlanta Hawks center Alex Len (25) during the first half at State Farm Arena on January 9, 2020
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