LOS ANGELES — LeBron James made a long, go-ahead 3-pointer with 58.2 seconds remaining, rallying the Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors in a Western Conference play-in tournament game Thursday night.
James finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season, Anthony Davis scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers overcame 37 points from league scoring champ Stephen Curry.
Golden State had a chance to send it into overtime, but Kent Bazemore had a bad inbounds pass and sealed the victory for the Lakers — who earned the seventh seed for the playoffs and a first-round matchup with second-seeded Phoenix.
Golden State hosts Memphis, which defeated San Antonio in Wednesday’s other play-in game, for the eighth seed on Friday. The winner of that game will face top-seeded Utah.
James and Davis were 3 of 19 from the field in the first half before getting back on track. They combined to go 14 of 22 in the second half.
Los Angeles trailed by 13 at halftime and were down by 12 midway through the third quarter before rallying back. The defending NBA champions didn’t get their first lead until Kyle Kuzma’s layup 56 seconds into the fourth quarter put them up 81-79.
The final 12 minutes saw three lead changes and five ties. The Warriors were up 98-95 on Curry’s bank shot before the Lakers scored seven of the game’s final nine points.
Alex Caruso scored 14 points and Dennis Schröder added 12.
Andrew Wiggins added 21 points for Golden State.
Golden State led 55-42 at halftime as Curry buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Lakers opened the second half by going on a 14-2 run that included seven points by Dennis Schröder.
Schröder’s 3-pointer drew Los Angeles within a point at 57-56, but he fouled Curry when he attempted a shot beyond the arc.
Curry made all three of his shots to start a 15-4 spurt by the Warriors. Curry’s fourth 3-pointer of the night pushed Golden State’s advantage to 72-60 before the Lakers regained control and ended the quarter with a 17-7 rally.
Golden State took a 9-2 lead as it made four of its first five shots from the field, while the Lakers missed six of their first seven. The Warriors extended their first-quarter advantage to 15-4 when Wiggins hit a 3-pointer with 7:38 remaining in the quarter.
The Lakers countered with a 12-2 run to get within one, but couldn’t draw closer in the quarter as Golden State led 28-22 after 12 minutes.
The Warriors were up by five midway through the second quarter before steadily pulling out to a double-digit lead. Curry had 10 points in the period, including three 3-pointers in the final four minutes. His step-back shot from beyond the arc at the buzzer gave Golden State its largest lead of the first half.