LeBron James returns to help Lakers beat Pacers

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — LeBron James returned from a six-game absence to score 24 points, Anthony Davis had 28 and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers 122-115 on Saturday.

The Lakers can take the No. 6 seed if they win at New Orleans on Sunday and Portland loses to Denver that day. If the Lakers finish No. 7, they will be in the play-in tournament against the No. 8 seed.

James played 28 minutes, hitting 11 of 22 shots, after sitting out trying to recover from high ankle sprain. . He had eight assists and seven rebounds.

Davis, who missed the previous game because of a tight left thigh, also had 10 rebounds.

Caris LeVert led Indiana with 28 points.

SUNS 140, SPURS 103

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Devin Booker had 27 points and Phoenix beat San Antonio to maintain its hope of earning the top spot in the NBA and Western Conference.

Phoenix moved within a game of Utah for first in the West. The Jazz conclude their season Sunday in Sacramento while the Suns close a two-game series in San Antonio. Phoenix swept the season series against Utah.

Keldon Johnson had 18 points to lead San Antonio. The Spurs previously clinched 10th in the West and will face either Memphis or Golden State on the road Wednesday.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich missed the game to attend Tim Duncan’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

NETS 105, BULLS 91

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 22 points while playing with Kevin Durant and James Harden for the first time in three months, leading Brooklyn past Chicago.

The eighth appearance of the season for Brooklyn’s Big Three wasn’t particularly pretty, with the Nets falling quickly into a 12-0 hole. But they had some sharp stretches and won their fourth straight, improving to 6-2 with their three All-Stars in the same game.

Durant shot just 4 for 17, but finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Harden had seven assists, five points and five rebounds while playing 25 minutes in his second game back from a hamstring injury.

Patrick Williams scored 24 points for the Bulls.

KNICKS 118, HORNETS 109, OT

NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle had 33 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds and led an overtime surge that sent New York past Charlotte.

The Knicks improved to 40-31 and moved into a tie with the idle Atlanta Hawks for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Miles Bridges had 30 points for the Hornets.

CELTICS 124, TIMBERWOLVES 108

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jayson Tatum had 26 points and 11 rebounds to help Boston rout Minnesota.

Evan Fournier added 18 points and was 5 of 8 from 3-point range.

Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

The Associated Press