Lakers forward LeBron James reacts after being called for a foul in the second half against the Pelicans on Saturday in New Orleans. Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — LeBron James moved 36 points away from breaking the NBA career scoring record in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 131-126 loss to New Orleans on Saturday night that ended the Pelicans’ losing streak at 10 games.

James had 27 points to go with nine rebounds and six assists as he continued to close in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record total of 38,387 points.

Brandon Ingram scored 35 points for the Pelicans.

CJ McCollum had 23 points, highlighted by a late 3 to help New Orleans close out the final 3:14 on a 9-5 run that kept the Lakers at bay.

Anthony Davis had 34 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers. They led by 12 when James’ finger role made it 84-72 in the third quarter.

The Pelicans chipped away and closed the period with five quick points on McCollum’s transition floater and Jose Alvarado’s 3 after he caught a deflected inbound pass.


That sequence cut the Lakers’ advantage to 106-103, and New Orleans surged into the lead when Trey Murphy hit back-to-back 3s, the second from 27 feet, to make it 114-108.

The game remained tight after that but the Pelicans didn’t allow Los Angeles to regain the lead.

NETS 125, WIZARDS 123: Cam Thomas scored a career-high 44 points off the bench and short-handed Brooklyn rallied from a 23-point deficit to stun Washington in New York.

Edmond Sumner also set a personal best with 29 points and Nic Claxton had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, who had their largest comeback win of the season and swept the regular-season series against the Wizards. Patty Mills added 13 points and Royce O’Neale had 10.

The victory came despite Brooklyn being without Kyrie Irving, who was out with what the team said was right calf soreness – a day after he told the Nets he wants to be traded.

The Nets, who also played without Kevin Durant (right knee MCL sprain), T.J. Warren (left shin contusion) and Ben Simmons (left knee soreness), also lost Seth Curry (left adductor) and Markieff Morris (sore left knee) in the game.


SUN 116, PISTONS 100: Deandre Ayton had 31 points and 16 rebounds to help Phoenix Suns win in Detroit.

The surging Suns have won eight of 10 games, including a victory at Boston on Friday night, and have help on the way with Devin Booker nearing his return. The three-time All-Star guard has been out since Christmas with a groin injury, but dunked in warmups in another sign that he’s close to coming back.

Phoenix started each half strong, leading 13-3 in the opening minutes and scoring the first eight points after halftime, to take and keep control against Detroit.

Chris Paul had 14 assists for a balanced offense that didn’t need him to make shots, finishing 0 for 7 and without a field goal for the first time since March 18, 2017, when he helped the Los Angeles Clippers beat Cleveland by 30 points.

Mikal Bridges scored 24 points, Cameron Johnson had 20 points and Torrey Craig added 14 points for Phoenix.



SUSPENSIONS: The NBA has suspended Orlando’s Mo Bamba for four games and Minnesota’s Austin Rivers for three games for their roles in an on-court altercation on Friday night.

Jalen Suggs of the Magic will miss one game, the league said, for escalating the incident.

Bamba will forfeit $284,138 in salary, while Rivers will lose about $60,121 and Suggs will lose $47,740.

Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels was fined $20,000 for getting involved in the altercation. Bamba, Rivers, Suggs and McDaniels were all ejected, as was Minnesota’s Taurean Prince. The NBA did not give Prince any additional sanction on Saturday.

Bamba and Rivers threw punches during the incident, and the NBA said Suggs and McDaniels “then entered the altercation as non-peacemakers.” The league also said Bamba “attempted to continue to engage with Rivers in a hostile manner in the corridor outside the locker rooms where he also aggressively shoved a security representative.”

Both Rivers and Bamba had social media posts about the incident, which the league said continued the escalation.

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