LeBron James scored a season-high 37 points, Anthony Davis added 27 points and 10 rebounds before he fouled out and the host Los Angeles Lakers used their star power to exact some revenge on the Houston Rockets with a 105-104 victory on Sunday.
James added eight assists and six rebounds as the Lakers won for the fifth time in six games since they were crushed 128-94 at Houston on Nov. 8 in a game Davis missed because of a hip injury.
Austin Reaves scored 17 points off the bench and Rui Hachimura added 11 as Los Angeles improved to 6-1 at home. Reaves missed a free throw with 11.6 seconds remaining that would have given the Lakers a three-point lead, and Houston’s Alperen Sengun made a shot inside to tie the game 104-all with four seconds left.
James drove inside and was fouled by Tari Eason with 1.9 seconds to go and made 1 of 2 free throws for the lead. Dillon Brooks then missed a 3-point attempt from near half court at the buzzer.
Brooks led a balanced Rockets attack with 24 points, while Sengun scored 23. Fred VanVleet had 15 points and 16 assists for Houston, which lost back-to-back games in Los Angeles after a 106-100 setback against the Clippers on Friday that ended a six-game winning streak.
Jabari Smith Jr. had 14 points and Jeff Green had 13 for the Rockets, who will close their three-game California trip on Monday at Golden State.
A basket by Smith and a 3-pointer from Brooks pulled Houston within 92-90 before James reached the 30-point mark with a fadeaway near the baseline. But another Brooks 3-pointer got the Rockets within 94-93 with 4:25 left in the game.
VanVleet’s 3-pointer tied it at 98-all with 1:35 left before Davis fouled out for the Lakers with 58 seconds remaining and the score tied at 100. Reaves hit a long 3-pointer to put Los Angeles up 103-100 with 24.2 seconds on the clock.
The Lakers jumped out to a seven-point lead three minutes into the game but were outscored 21-4 as the Rockets went on top 25-15 and led 28-20 after one quarter. Houston led 55-49 at the half after shooting 9 of 20 (45 percent) from 3-point range in the opening two quarters.