Anthony Davis scored 50 points to power the Los Angeles Lakers to a 142-125 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday that gave the Western Conference leaders the best record in the NBA.
Davis unleashed his aggression to notch the fourth 50-point game of his career and his first with the Lakers.
He connecting on 20 of 29 shots from the field – with 16 baskets in the paint and not a single three-pointer.
“One for the ages,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “The first thing that stands out to me was he had four steals, a block and great defense for all 39 minutes he was out there,” Vogel said. “To be able to perform on that end of the floor and anchor us and still go for 50 in what I feel is an old-school, smashmouth way of getting 50.
“No threes, right? Twenty of 29, living at the free throw line, post-ups, offensive rebounds, crashes, all those types of things ... just an old-school performance.”
Davis, a perfect 10 of 10 from the free-throw line, also pulled down seven rebounds and handed out six assists.
“I just came out aggressive, playing hard,” said Davis, who laid in a floater with 4:39 left to play to reach 50 points for the night. “My teammates did a good job of finding me.”
LeBron James added 32 points with 13 assists despite finding himself in foul trouble with four in the first half.
Alex Caruso chipped in 16 points as the Lakers improved to 21-3.
Eight Minnesota players scored in double figures.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins scored 19 apiece and the Timberwolves led by five late in the second quarter. Ultimately, however, they had no answer for Davis.
In Miami, rookie Tyler Herro scored 27 points and made a go-ahead three-pointer with 38.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Heat to a 110-105 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Herro’s heroics included a three-pointer with 7.1 seconds left in regulation, which ended with the score tied at 97-97.
He made three more from beyond the arc in the extra session – including one to tie the game and one to give the Heat the lead for good as Miami improved to 10-0 at home this season and 17-6 overall.
“My teammates trusted me with the ball,” the 19-year-old reserve guard said. “Every time I get a shot, I have confidence.”
In Dallas, Luka Doncic scored 27 points with seven rebounds and eight assists for his 19th straight game of at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.
He passed NBA icon Michael Jordan for the most such games in a row since the NBA/ABA merger in the 1970s, but it wasn’t enough to deliver a victory for the Mavs, who fell 110-106 to the Sacramento Kings.
Doncic missed a potential game-tying basket with 7.7 seconds remaining as Sacramento thwarted a late Mavericks rally.
Nemanja Bjelica, who led the Kings with 30 points, closed out the scoring with a layup after Richaun Holmes grabbed the rebound of Doncic’s miss.
Buddy Hield added 26 points for the Kings, former Maverick Harrison Barnes had 13 and Holmes chipped in 12.
Clippers bounce back
The Los Angeles Clippers bounced back from an embarrassing 28-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday with a 135-119 victory over the Wizards in Washington.
Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for the Clippers as they improved to 1-1 in their six-game road trip.
“We just wanted to come in and execute,” Leonard said. “Last game, we played very sluggish on the offensive end.
“It’s really not about missing shots or making shots, it’s about getting into our offense and executing and making the right play.”
Paul George added 27 points as five Clippers players scored in double figures. Montrezl Harrell added nine of his 20 in the fourth quarter to help Los Angeles put away the determined Wizards.