INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – LeBron James hit a 3-pointer to break the tie in overtime and followed with another long-range shot to end the game on his return to business after his first career suspension and help the Lakers in Los Angeles defeated the Indiana Pacers 124-116 on Wednesday night.
James finished with 37 points on 13-of-29 shooting and had six assists and five rebounds to make up for the absence of Anthony Davis.
James was sent off Sunday night in the win at Detroit for hitting center Isaiah Stewart in the face. The NBA suspended him for one game, for which he was absent in the Lakers’ loss in New York on Tuesday night.
The Lakers ended a five-game road trip with their second win in six games.
Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana with 28 points and Chris Duarte contributed 17. Indiana was never down until Malik Monk hit a 3-pointer with 4:35 left in regulation.
But the Lakers didn’t play at a championship level. Instead, the game had all the elements of one before the holiday and at the end of a long journey – inconsistencies, oversights, and just plain bad play.
Despite this, James and company found a way to land the knockout blow.
James’ first 3-pointer in overtime put the game 117-114 with 2:51 left. A minute later, he hit one more that extended the lead to six points and added a mid-range shot before Wayne Ellington sealed the win. Indiana only got one basket in the final three minutes.