Anthony Davis scored 28 points and LeBron James had 22 while becoming the second-leading Christmas scorer in NBA history during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 138-115 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
Luka Doncic had 27 points and seven assists in his first starring role in the NBA’s showcase Christmas evening game for Dallas. Josh Richardson and Trey Burke had 17 points apiece as the Mavs started 0-2 with a late fade at Staples Center.
James moved into second place behind Kobe Bryant for the most points scored on Christmas, passing Oscar Robertson in the third quarter. James has 383 points in 15 games on Christmas, while Bryant had 395 in 16 holiday appearances.
The Lakers were aggressive and accurate from the opening tip, taking a 69-57 halftime lead while hitting 61.4% of their shots.
Doncic went 3 for 10 in the first half but combined with Burke for 22 points in the third quarter to keep it close.
Irving, Durant lead Nets to win
Kyrie Irving scored 37 points with eight assists in his return to Boston and Kevin Durant added 29 for Brooklyn on Friday to lead the Nets to a 123-95 victory over the Celtics.
Jaylen Brown scored 27 with eight rebounds for the Celtics and Jayson Tatum had 20 points and eight boards. The Celtics beat Milwaukee in their opener on Wednesday on Tatum’s last-second shot over Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they couldn’t do it again in their second straight matchup against a team expected to contend in the Eastern Conference this season.
The game began after a moment of silence for former Celtics player and coach K.C. Jones, who died earlier Friday.
Boston led by three at the half before being outscored 35-23 in the third quarter, including a 9-0 run that turned a three-point edge into a 82-70 lead. It was 86-79 early in the fourth when the Nets, even with Irving and Durant on the bench, again scored nine in a row to open a 16-point lead.
Robinson sparks Heat past Pelicans
Erik Spoelstra remained perfect on Christmas, and a record-tying show from Duncan Robinson helped him stay that way.
Robinson made seven 3-pointers — tying the most on Christmas ever — and scored 23 points, and the Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 111-98 to start the NBA’s holiday quintupleheader Friday.
Spoelstra moved to 8-0 on Christmas as coach of the Heat. Goran Dragic scored 18 points, Bam Adebayo had 17 and Avery Bradley finished with 12. Precious Achiuwa and Tyler Herro each scored 11 for Miami.
Robinson’s seven 3s tied the mark that Ingram set last year. Jimmy Butler didn’t play in the second half for Miami, ruled out with right ankle stiffness.
JJ Redick’s 3-pointer with 7:43 left cut Miami’s lead to 91-85 and came during a stretch when the Heat went five minutes without a field goal. But the Pelicans got no closer.
The Heat restored order by scoring 11 of the game’s next 13 points, and when Achiuwa — the rookie who had strong defensive minutes — forced Williamson into a turnover with 3:55 left, the entire Miami bench rose in celebration.
Bucks crush Warriors
Khris Middleton scored 31 points and the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Golden State Warriors 138-99 on Friday to win their first Christmas Day home game in over half a century.
Middleton went 6 for 8 from 3-point range, leading a strong performance from deep for his team. Milwaukee was 20 of 37 from beyond the arc, while Golden State was 10 of 45.
Milwaukee’s only other Christmas home game came during the franchise’s inaugural season in 1968. The Bucks were on the road for Christmas the last two seasons, losing at Philadelphia in 2019 and winning at New York in 2018.
Bucks players got a Christmas surprise before the game when they received videotaped messages from their families in a move orchestrated by team officials.
Then they went out and delivered a dominant performance to bounce back from a season-opening 122-121 loss at Boston in which Celtics star Jayson Tatum banked in a go-ahead 3-pointer and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a potential tying free throw in the final second.
Antetkounmpo had 15 points and 13 rebounds against Golden State, but the two-time reigning NBA MVP shot 4 of 15 from the floor and 7 of 15 from the foul line.
Stephen Curry scored 19 points for Golden State, and rookie James Wiseman had 18. Andrew Wiggins had 12 and Brad Wanamaker added 11.