LeBron James scored a season-high 44 points and passed Wilt Chamberlain for No. 5 on the all-time NBA scoring list while leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 126-117 victory against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
James added 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Lakers earned their fourth win in a row.
JaVale McGee scored 20 points, Brandon Ingram had 17 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 13 off the bench for the Lakers, who ended a nine-game home losing streak to Portland.
Damian Lillard had 31 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists, CJ McCollum scored 23 points, and Jusuf Nurkic finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
With 3:55 left in the fourth quarter, James passed Chamberlain (31,419 points) on a three-point play, hitting a 12-foot jump shot and sinking the ensuing foul shot for a 121-106 Los Angeles lead. James now has 31,425 career points.
The Lakers trailed for most of the first half before scoring the final six points to take a 59-55 lead into the break. Los Angeles extended the run to 10-0 by scoring the first four points of the third quarter.
The Trail Blazers stayed within single digits and pulled as close as 82-80 on Nurkic’s basket with 3:22 left in the third quarter, but the Lakers continued to push. A 3-pointer by Caldwell-Pope with 22.2 seconds left in the third gave the Los Angeles its first double-digit lead at 97-87.
The Lakers took a 97-89 lead into the fourth quarter, and that was as close as Portland would get after the Lakers opened with an 8-0 run.
The Trail Blazers shot 6-for-9 from 3-point distance in the opening quarter to take a 33-26 lead into the second.
Al-Farouq Aminu sank one of the 3-pointers to give Portland a 25-14 lead with 4:18 left in the opening quarter. Aminu made another with 6:29 to go in the first half to give the Trail Blazers their biggest lead of the night at 45-32.
Lonzo Ball made back-to-back 3-pointers to highlight an 8-0 run and get Los Angeles back within five, and the Lakers strung together another 7-0 run later in the second quarter to tie the score at 53-53.
—Field Level Media