Triple-doubles from James, Ball lift Lakers

LOS ANGELES: Lonzo Ball joined LeBron James in elite territory on Saturday as their twin triple-doubles lifted the Los Angeles Lakers to a 128-100 NBA victory over the Hornets in Charlotte.
James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, scored 24 points with 11 assists and 12 rebounds while Ball, the second overall selection in the 2017 draft, added 16 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
It was the first time two NBA team-mates posted triple-doubles in the same game since Jason Kidd and Vince Carter did it for the Nets in 2007.
James and Ball became the only Lakers team-mates to do it besides Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1982.
“We just tried to do a little bit of everything to help our team win,” James said. “Try to put the ball in the hole, rebound so we could start the break and then get our guys the ball.
“That’s the most important to both of us,” James added, “getting our guys involved. It’s a great feeling when you’re able to get the ball to a team-mate and see them make a shot.”
Both James and Ball had completed their triple-doubles with plenty of margin. After helping the Lakers out-score the Hornets 40-17 in the third quarter James sat out all of the fourth quarter and Ball played just five minutes of the final period.
Ball added five steals as the Lakers came back with a vengeance from a 126-111 loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
“It was a good win,” Ball said. “We didn’t want to lose two in a row. We came out strong… got it done.”
Streak buster
In Detroit, the Pistons ended the Boston Celtics’ league-leading eight-game winning streak — and their own six-game skid — with a 113-104 victory.
Reggie Bullock, returning from a five-game injury absence, provided a spark for the Pistons. His 15 points included a three-pointer with 3:37 to play.
Blake Griffin scored 27 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out six assists for the Pistons, who led by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter but saw Boston cut the deficit to 111-104 with 38 seconds left with the help of a spate of turnovers.
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 26 points and Marcus Smart added 21.
In Memphis, the Houston Rockets jumped to an early lead but had to fight off the Grizzlies down the stretch for a 105-97 victory.
Houston led 61-40 at halftime and were still up by 14 heading into the fourth quarter, but saw their lead sliced to six points with 3:04 to play.
Memphis would get no closer as Houston came up with the stops they needed to post a third straight victory.
James Harden notched a triple-double of 32 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds. Coming off his monster 50-point triple-double against the Lakers, it marked the seventh time in Harden’s career that he has achieved the feat in consecutive games.
Clint Capela added 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who improved to 14-14 for the season.
The Chicago Bulls erased a 21-point first-quarter deficit to beat the Spurs in San Antonio 98-93. Kris Dunn scored 24 points and Lauri Markkanen added 23 for the Bulls, who won for the second time in seven games under new coach Jim Boylen, who replaced Fred Hoiberg on December 3. — AFP