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LA Lakers in dominant win; KD ejected in rout of Pistons

CARMELO Anthony led the Los Angeles Lakers in their rout of the Houston Rockets, 95-85, on Sunday.

CARMELO Anthony scored 23 points and Russell Westbrook added 20 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers routed the visiting Houston Rockets, 95-85, on Sunday.

LeBron James added 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Lakers, who led by as many as 28. The teams meet again at the Staples Center on Tuesday.

Anthony made 5-of-8 attempts from three-point range in 25 minutes and is averaging 25 points over his last three home games. Anthony Davis recorded 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Eric Gordon scored 17 points for Houston and Christian Wood chipped in 16 points and 13 rebounds. The Rockets committed a season-high 25 turnovers while shooting 21.4% (6-of-28) from beyond the arc.

Anthony made 3-of-4 three-point attempts in the first quarter to help the Lakers take a 27-15 lead.

Los Angeles set the tone by forcing eight turnovers in the first 12 minutes and limiting Houston to 27.8% (5-of-18) shooting.

The second quarter brought more of the same from the Lakers, whose highlight reel included a reverse dunk by James that extended the lead to 40-24 with 7:05 remaining in the half.

The Lakers were 8-of-15 shooting from three-point range in the first half and took a 54-35 lead into the break.

Los Angeles has won two straight since blowing a 26-point lead in a 123-115 loss to Oklahoma City last Wednesday.

The Lakers avoided a similar collapse against the Rockets and moved ahead 61-44 on James’ dunk with 7:31 to play in the third quarter.

Dwight Howard sat out with neck stiffness for Los Angeles, which led 75-54 after three quarters.

Kevin Porter, Jr. had 13 points and nine rebounds for Houston while Kenyon Martin, Jr. scored 12 points in 16 minutes off the bench.

Houston pulled within 11 points with 3:58 remaining after Martin capped a 21-4 run with an alley-oop dunk.

Los Angeles quickly responded with five straight points to help seal the Rockets’ fourth straight loss.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant scored 23 points before being ejected for a flagrant foul late in the third quarter as hosts Brooklyn Nets beat the Detroit Pistons, 117-91, on Sunday night.

Durant was ejected with 3:23 remaining in the third quarter and the Nets leading 85-68. He was thrown out when his right forearm and elbow hit Kelly Olynyk’s face just outside the paint.

Olynyk made the two free throws after the flagrant 2 foul, and Cory Joseph hit a basket, but the Nets ended the third period on an 11-2 run and led 96-74 heading into the fourth.

Durant shot 10-of -3 from the field before getting ejected.

James Harden produced his 59th career regular-season triple-double with 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Nets led by as many as 30. It was Harden’s 13th triple-double with the Nets.

The Nets shot a franchise-record 65.3% from the field, making 47-of-72 attempts. Their previous high was 65.2% on April 17, 1982, at Detroit.

Brooklyn’s LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field after getting his 20,000th career point on Friday. DeAndre Bembry added 15 points and Joe Harris 12.

The Nets won consecutive games for the first time this season thanks to their torrid shooting display.

The Pistons rested rookie Cade Cunningham. The top overall pick made his debut by playing 19 minutes on Saturday in his return from a sprained right ankle.

Joseph led the Pistons with 13 points and Josh Jackson added 12 as Detroit shot 40.5% from the field. Jerami Grant was held to 11 points on 5-of-15 from the floor. — Reuters

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