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Lakers: LeBron James Triple-Double Helps LA Secure Overtime Win Over Knicks

A much-needed 129-121 LA win.

LeBron James notched his first triple-double of the 2022-23 season tonight, in helping lead your Los Angeles Lakers to a much-needed 129-121 overtime victory over a pesky New York Knicks franchise that just would not go away.

While donning some classic retro Minneapolis Lakers white-and-blue threads, LA put on a tough two-way game, employing a rare turbo-sized first five.

Darvin Ham opted for yet another new starting lineup this season, with Troy Brown Jr. and Rui Hachimura moving down a position from yesterday's Brooklyn game (to shooting guard and small forward, respectively), with Patrick Beverley unavailable, to accommodate LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers led by as much as eight points in the opening quarter. Anthony Davis got cooking early, scoring seven points in that first frame to lead the Lakers.

The club got off to a robust start, powered by strong early moments from LeBron James and Anthony Davis -- who occasionally joined forces to goose LA's offense:

LA led 29-24 at the end of the period.

The Knicks instantly rallied, however, scoring the first five points of the first quarter to tie up the bout. Conversely, the Lakers started out the quarter shooting a dismal 0-of-7 from the field. Lonnie Walker IV had a brutal airball for a triple at one point, LA's second airball of the night.

Rui Hachimura looked great alongside Davis and James, serving as a critical release valve beyond the arc. Three Lakers were in double digits at the break: Davis (11 points while shooting 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the free throw line), Russell Westbrook (10 points while shooting 4-of-6 from the floor and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe)... and Rui Hachimura, who led the way for LA with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor (1-of-2 from deep).

Starting point guard Dennis Schröder trimmed the Knicks' lead to just a point, 53-52, at the buzzer, thanks to this completely bonkers half-court heave.

LA shot just 3-of-17 from deep (17.6%) for the half, while New York didn't fare much better, going 6-of-16 (31.3%).

James recorded his 10,336th regular season assist (and his ninth of the night) in a pick-and-roll play with reserve center Thomas Bryant, who promptly slammed it home. 

The moment officially moved James up to a solo fourth place ranking among the league's all-time assist leaders. His tenth dime, though, was probably his greatest passing moment of the evening, a cross-court bullet pass to Rui Hachimura.

The game stayed close throughout the second half. With the fourth quarter drawing to a close, LeBron James started settling for triples, as he is wont to do when he starts getting tired late in games. At least this one went in (the next few... did not).

Yet again, a last-second foul determination (this time, an accurate one) was not in LA's favor. With the 4.5 seconds left in regulation and the score knotted at 114-114, James fed Davis inside for a dunk try -- and Davis ran straight into Jalen Brunson, who had his feet squarely planted to take a charge.

The Knicks couldn't make a bucket as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, the two teams looked fairly evenly matched at first, exchanging sparse buckets until Dennis Schröder scored a corner triple to put LA up 121-118, which keyed some nifty two-way play from LA.

Westbrook poked the ball away from the Knicks, then drove inside on the other end and handed the ball off to Anthony Davis late for a flush.

Hachimura blocked a Jalen Brunson lay-in attempt, in what was initially considered goaltending. After attendant refs and the league's Seacaucus-based NBA Replay Center reviewed the play, they reversed their decision, calling it a clean block and removing two points off the board. LA thus led by five, 123-118, with 1:44 remaining.

A Russell Westbrook pull-up jumper helped extend LA's edge to 125-118. Jalen Brunson, doing it all for New York in the bonus period, responded with a quick three-point play, drawing an Anthony Davis foul on a drive, to cut LA's lead to just four, 125-120.

James then finished with a cutting lefty layup to get LA's lead to six, 127-121.

Brunson air-balled a three-point heave during the next possession, and the Knicks had no choice but to play the foul game a bit, which they did with two quick ones on Dennis Schröder, the second leading to a pair of free throws. Schröder iced both his charity stripe takes, effectively putting the game away.

In 42:56, James finished with 28 points on 11-of-25 shooting from the floor (just 2-of-8 from three), 11 assists, 10 rebounds, and a steal. Davis was the team's second-highest scorer for the evening, notching 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, nine rebounds, two steals and an assist. Hachimura had 19 points on a hyper-efficient 8-of-12 shooting, nine rebounds, and one block in a whopping 40:25, his best game yet as a Laker. Westbrook (17 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals) and Schröder (12 points, six assists, one rebound) were the team's only other two scorers in double figures.

As you'd expect, Brunson and Julius Randle led all Knicks scorers with 37 and 23 points, respectively.

LA picked up its three-point shooting effort in the second half, and finished with a respectable 11-of-33 shooting night from long range (33.3%), a massive uptick over the Knicks 7-of-34 shooting night from deep (20.6%).

Three games in to LA's five-game road trip, the Lakers finally won, 129-121, improving the club's season record to a still-meh 24-28. Here's hoping they keep the good vibes going against the slumping Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans.