LOS ANGELES (CNS) - LeBron James scored the tie-breaking basket with 12.8 seconds left to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 103-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers tonight in the resumption of their coronavirus-interrupted seasons.
Clippers guard Paul George tied the score on a 27-foot 3-point basket with 28.7 seconds to play.
James missed a floating 17-foot shot, grabbed the rebound and made alayup. George missed a potentially game-winning 28-foot 3-point shot with 1.6 seconds remaining, but the Clippers were unable to take another shot before time expired.
Anthony Davis led four Lakers in double figures with 34 points, including making 16 of 17 free throws, for his 20th 30-point game of the season, tying for eighth in the NBA. James added 16 as did Kyle Kuzma in 31 minutes, 43 seconds off the bench.
George led four Clippers in double figures with 30 points, including making six 3-point baskets. Kawhi Leonard added 28.
The Clippers led 76-77 entering the fourth quarter. Dion Waiters, Kuzma, James and Danny Green all made 3-point baskets during a 12-0 run that gave the Lakers a 91-80 lead with 7:57 remaining.
The Clippers pulled to within one, 99-98, on George's 3-point basket with 1:46 to play.
The victory was the Lakers 50th of the season, the 33rd time in franchise history they have reached the 50-victory mark and first since the 2010-11 season.
The game was the second of what the league has dubbed “seeding games.'' The Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 106-104, in the first earlier Thursday.
The restart to the season is being conducted amid what the NBA describes as “stringent health and safety protocols.'' The league is using the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida as a single site for a campus for all games, practices and housing for the remainder of the season.
The NBA and NBPA have agreed the goal of the season restart “will be to find tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country.''
Leaders from the NBA and the NBPA have discussed strategies to increase Black representation across the NBA and its teams, ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses across NBA business activities and form an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community.
Additional details will be released later.
“Black Lives Matter'' has been painted on the courts of the three arenas that will be used during the restart. Players have been allowed to put league-approved social justice messages on the backs of their jerseys.
Lakers Alex Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and Dion Waiters selected “Black Lives Matter'' for the backs of their jerseys; Devontae Cacok and JR Smith, “Justice Now''; Kostas Antetokounmpo “Peace''; Quinn Cook “Say Their Names''; Danny Green “How Many More''; JaVale McGee “Respect Us''; and Markieff Morris “Education Reform.''
Clippers Amir Coffey and Montrezl Harrell selected “How Many More'' for the backs of their jerseys; Terance Mann and Patrick Patterson “I Am A Man''; Landry Shamet and Lou Williams “Equality'' ; JaMychal Green “Black Lives Matter''; Reggie Jackson “Liberation''; Rodney McGruder “Peace''; Marcus Morris “Education Reform''; Joakim Noah, “Justice''; and Ivica Zubac “Enough.''
The Morrises are twins. The Greens are not related.
The 22 teams participating in the restart are the 16 (eight per conference) in current playoff positions and the six teams six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conference.
Eight teams did not meet the criteria to participate.
Each participating team will play eight “seeding games,'' as selected from its remaining regular-season matchups. The seeding games will continue through Aug. 14.
At the conclusion of the seeding games, the seven teams in each conference with the highest combined winning percentages across regular-seasongames and seeding games will be the first through seventh seeds for the NBA Playoffs for that conference.
If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage (regular-season games and seeding games) in a conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference, then the team with the eighth-best winning percentage would be the eighth playoff seed in that conference.
If the team with the eighth-best combined winning percentage in a conference (Team 8) is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best combined winning percentage in the same conference (Team 9), then those two teams would compete in a play-in tournament to determine the eighth playoff seed in the conference.
The play-in tournament will be double elimination for Team 8 and single elimination for Team 9.
The play-in games are scheduled for Aug. 15-16 (if necessary), with the playoffs set to start Aug. 17.
Photos: Getty Images