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James scores 35, Lakers beat Raptors, snap three-game skid

TORONTO (AP) – LeBron James scored 19 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Raptors 128-123 early yesterday.

Avery Bradley hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 32.5 seconds left in the extra session, putting the visitors up 125-123, then added a pair of free throws after a turnover by Toronto rookie Scottie Barnes.

”To be able to come into a very hostile environment and win a basketball game, and the way we won it, was big for our team,” James said. ”We needed literally every minute, all 53 of them, to accomplish that.”

Wenyen Gabriel scored 17 points, Bradley had 14 and Austin Reaves 10 as Los Angeles avenged last Monday’s home loss to the Raptors and ended Toronto’s winning streak at five.

”I thought we did a great job of just sticking to our principles, grinding the game out,” Westbrook said. ”This was a grind-out game.”

The Lakers snapped an 11-game road losing streak that dated back to a January 25 victory at Brooklyn. Los Angeles also ended a seven-game losing streak north of the border.

Toronto Raptors Dalano Banton has his shot blocked by Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James. PHOTO: AP

”It’s a great feeling,” Bradley said. ”It was a great accomplishment for us tonight to go out there and be able to play the right way on both ends of the floor. It was really refreshing.”
James shot 15 for 26 and went two for seven from three-point range. He had nine rebounds.

”That’s part of what makes him the greatest is his ability to just make whatever play is necessary, whatever side of the floor,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

Barnes set career-highs with 31 points and 17 rebounds, Gary Trent Jr scored 23 points and Fred Van Vleet 20. Precious Achiuwa scored 18 points, but made a costly turnover that led to Westbrook’s tying three with less than a second to play.

Toronto looked to have the game won after Trent hit a go-ahead three with 25 seconds left, and James and Westbrook both missed from distance at the other end, with Trent grabbing the rebound.

Los Angeles got a break when Achiuwa turned the ball over with five seconds left and Westbrook hit a tying three with less than one second remaining.

Westbrook said he snuck a look at his feet and slid his right toe back to make sure he wasn’t on the line for his pivotal shot. His triple-double was his 10th of the season and the 194th of his career.

Toronto couldn’t get a shot off on its final possession, sending it to OT.

The Lakers made their first six field-goal attempts of the game, including three from long range, to lead 15-5, but Toronto reclaimed the advantage with a 18-3 spurt. Making his first start for Los Angeles, Gabriel shot six for six in the first quarter and scored 14 points as the Lakers led 33-30 after one.

James scored 12 points in the second. Los Angeles led 59-55 at the half, but Barnes had 12 in the third as Toronto took an 89-88 lead to the fourth.