LeBron James became third player in NBA history to clock up 35,000 points but could not prevent the Los Angeles Lakers falling 109-98 against the in-form Brooklyn Nets.
James needed 15 points to join esteemed company in Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone, and it took him until just before half-time to achieve the feat at Staples Center.
Hours before tip off, the 36-year-old was named a team captain in the 2021 All-Star game, becoming first player to be selected 17 straight times, and he went on to put up 32 points on Thursday.
But it was not enough for the NBA’s number one defense, as the Nets extended their winning run to five games, with Kyrie Irving returning from back tightness to boost the NBA’s number one offense.
James Harden powered up the Nets with his 18th double-double (23 points, 11 assists) of the season, while Joe Harris showed his three-point prowess, dropping six of seven attempts, to clock up 21 total points.
Brooklyn rallied midway through the first half, sinking seven from 11 shots from downtown to open up an 11-point lead. It was one they never relinquished to move to 19-12, while the Lakers fall to 22-8.
Red-hot Butler does it again
Jimmy Butler recorded his third straight triple-double (13 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) in the Miami Heat's 118-110 win against the Sacramento Kings, while Bam Adebayo also got in on the act with 16 points, 10 assist and 12 rebounds. They are the only teammates to ever record same-game triple-doubles in multiple games.
Giannis cannot get Bucks firing against Raps
Giannis Antetokounmpo could not get the Milwaukee Bucks moving in their 110-96 defeat against the Toronto Raptors in what was, by his own high standards, an under-par performance.
The Greek led his team in scoring wtih 23 points, but was only on the mark with eight of 20 field-goal attempts, with none of his four three-pointers dropping. He shot seven-of-13 from the free-throw.
NBA's number one scoring team prove unstoppable
The Lakers may have the competition's number one defensive rating but they could not live with the speed of the Brooklyn Nets' ball movement and three-point shooting at Staples Center.
Toronto Raptors 110-96 Milwaukee Bucks
Miami Heat 118-110 Sacramento Kings
Brooklyn Nets 109-98 Los Angeles Lakers
Jazz at Clippers
Kawhi Leonard has been upgraded to questionable after missing three games as the LA Clippers aim to end the Utah Jazz's nine-game winning streak, after falling 114-96 against the NBA leaders on Wednesday.